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Odesa Pro-Russia Detainees Transferred To Central Ukraine

A fire burns on May 3 outside the trade union building in Odesa where dozens of pro-Russian activists died after seeking refuge amid street violence one day earlier.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says 42 people detained over recent deadly violence in Odesa have been transferred to detention facilities in central Ukraine.

Separatist and pro-Russian rebellions have erupted in a number of cities and towns in eastern and southern Ukraine, where the government in Kyiv and Western leaders have accused Moscow of whipping up or even leading antigovernment forces.

The announcement of the transfer from Odesa comes one day after more than 60 pro-Russian detainees were released after a crowd of around 2,000 people attacked the police headquarters in that southern port city demanding their release.
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On May 2, more than 40 people died in a blaze inside a building where at least some of those detainees and other alleged pro-Russian activists had sought refuge amid fierce street fighting.

At least four other people were killed in street clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Kyiv protesters.

Avakov voiced his "indignation" over the "shameful" release of people who he said were among those who had provoked the violence.

Meanwhile, Ivan Katerynchuk was appointed the chief of Odesa police on May 5 after his predecessor and some deputy chiefs were fired for failing to prevent the violence.

Prime Minister Arsemiy Yatsenyuk visited Odesa on May 4 and said the violence was part of a Russian plan to "destroy Ukraine and its statehood."

Several thousand pro-Kyiv supporters rallied in Odesa late on May 5. The march ended without major incident.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have vowed to continue an "antiterrorist' operation to push out pro-Russian separatists from a string of eastern cities, including the rebel stronghold of Slovyansk.

Kyiv announced on April 15 an "antiterrorist" operation in the region, but the operation has appeared to have limited success thus far.
With reporting by UNIAN
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