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Protesters In Russia's Vladivostok Demand Probe Into Deadly Blaze

Fire at the offices of Sberbank in Vladivostok, 16 January (ITAR-TASS) 21 January 2006 -- Some 300 people have demonstrated in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok to demand a probe into a blaze that killed nine bank employees on 16 January.

Some of the protesters called on Vladivostok Mayor Vladimir Nikolayev and Primorye Region Governor Sergei Darkin to step down. Both men appeared at the demonstration to promise a thorough investigation of the fire, which partially destroyed the building of the Vladivostok branch of Sberbank, Russia's largest bank.

A website created by some local residents ( criticizes the city's fire brigade for failing to evacuate the bank's employees in time.