12:29 21.12.2012

Svoboda activists break into Odesa City Council in protest against renaming city streets

2 min read

Around one hundred of the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union activists have broken into the building of Odesa City Council on Friday.

An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said that at first the protesters tried to enter the building, but security guards did not let them in. The activists crashed the resistance and broke into the lobby of the building.

Tear gas, fire extinguishers, and fire plugs were used in the scuffle. At least one window was broken.

Svoboda activists protested against the adoption of a draft instruction on renaming around ten streets in Odesa, particularly on renaming Zooparkova Street into Soviet Army Street, etc.

Representatives of entrepreneurs of Odesa-based Pryvoz market and other organizations also took part in the attack.

During the assault, deputies of Odesa City Council approved some decisions in a rush without discussing them.

Odesa Mayor Oleksiy Kostusev asked the head of Odesa Regional State Administration, the police and Berkut riot police unit to intervene in the situation.

In turn, Svoboda said that the activists decided to attack the building after Svoboda parliamentary faction MP and Head of Odesa regional organization of the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union Pavlo Kyrylenko was not admitted to the session.

Svoboda's press service said that the union, entrepreneurs, and public organizations of the city sent Kyrylenko to the city council to express the community's position at the session.

"The security guards violated the law of Ukraine on the status of people's deputy of Ukraine and the Constitution of Ukraine and in a rude form hindered the people's deputy from carrying out his tasks. In order to help their delegate, around one and a half hundred outraged activists started to assault the city council. However, the security guards used tear gas and fire plugs against the people and the people's deputy," Svoboda said.

They are still spraying water in the street through the broken windows and doors, while air temperature outside is 5 degrees Celsius below zero, the press service added.