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29-11-2004 00:35 Maidan-INFORM
Odessa: Tents, Protests, and Attacks (with Photos)

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Yushchenko supporters in Odessa have set up a round-the-clock tent camp.

On 29 November several thousand supporters of Viktor Yushchenko in Odessa continued their protests, demanding new elections, no confidence to the Central Electoral Committee and opening a criminal case against Odessa mayor Ruslan Bodelan for his calls to create a so-called "Neorussian Region".

A round-the-clock tent camp has been set up next to the building of the Odessa state administration. The camp's coordinator and head of the "Citizen's Administration" movement Andrij Ishchenko said: "Our demands are the same as the demands of Ukraine as a whole. The government must respect the choice of the Ukrainian people. Odessa's authorities have responsibility to arrest mayor Bodelan for instigation to split Ukraine. The instigation to infringe on Ukraine's territorial integrity constitutes a criminal act."

Georgij Seljanin, member of the Odessa City Council, said that the actions of the opposition and Yanukovych supporters in Odessa have been peaceful. "However, Russian flags have for some reason appeared next to the Odessa City Council, where the rally in support of Yanukovych is taking place. One can also hear calls to annex Odessa to Russia. In my opinion, this is an unconstitutional action. I'm guessing that in the near future it will come not only to the attention of regular residents of city, but also judicial authorities," he said.

At the square near the regional administration photo journalist Oleg Kutskyj opened an exibition devoted to the latest events in Kyiv's Independece Square. His Excellency Jakiv, the Bishop of Odessa, gave his benediction to the participants of the rally and joined them in prayer. He spoke on behalf of all Christian churches of the city belonging to the Spiritual Council of Odessa and the region.

The auto-marathon in support of Victor Yushchenko in Odessa has entered its fourth day. A column of 37 cars heading to the small town Illichivs'k was stopped at a regular checkpoint. They were denied entry into the town on the grounds that it was "an unplanned action". The column was released only after an interference from Oleksandr Chernega, parliament member Vasyl Onopenko's aide.

Meanwhile, in Odessa pressure on supporters of Viktor Yushchenko continues. A group of unknown attackers severely beat up an individual whose only guilt was that he responded to the call "Yushchenko" with "Tak!" ["That's right!", motto of Yushchenko's electoral campaign] With the words "so you, [expletive], are orange" they attacked him and kicked him until he bled. Only intervention from passers-by saved his life.

In the meantime, on Novermber 29 around 300 supporters of Viktor Yakunovych held a rally near mayor's office in the Dumska Square." Around 30 empty tents are standing nearby. Young people, some inebriated, gathered signatures for a petition to Secretary General of the European Council and Secretary General of the UN demanding "non-intervention into internal affairs of Ukraine and respect for the rights." At the rally one can hear calls to "annex the Neorussian Region to Russia" and "hit back at the infidels."

Igor Stoljarov

1.Participants at Odessa rally in support of Viktor Yushchenko
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2 4. Rally Slogans:
"Ukraine is united - Odessa is for Yushchenko",
"All of Odessa is of orange color",
"In his life a person must: 1. Raise a son. 2. Build a house. 3. Plant Yanukovych's feet firmly behind bars!"
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5. A young Odessa activist who was beaten up.
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6. Odessa rally in support of Victor Yanukovych
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7. Gathering signatures in support of Yanukovych in Odessa.
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