ODESSA, Ukraine, May 3 (UPI) -- A firefight between pro and anti-Russia Ukrainians killed at least 42 in the port city of Odessa in Southern Ukraine, a violent turn that brings the already volatile region closer to all out war.
What started as mass rioting two days ago quickly escalated to exchanges of gunshots and molotov cocktails, before dozens of pro-Russian protesters were burned alive in what was once a trade union building. The turmoil began when a group of pro-Ukrainian soccer fans clashed with pro-Russian separatists dressed in black. Fighting then spread throughout the city until an all out battle broke out and pro-Russian rioters were forced into the doomed building. Most died of smoke inhalation, while others died jumping from windows trying to escape. All of this occurred as both Kiev and the Kremlin increased their military activity in the area.
Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov condemned the violence in a statement saying, "The day of May 2 was a tragic day for Ukraine. I have signed a decree for two days of mourning in Ukraine for the heroes who died in the course of the anti-terrorist operation and also for those who died in the tragic events in Odessa.”