“The recently published message by Odesa governor Mikheil Saakashvili, which said that about a thousand fighters of the National Guard were sent to strengthen public security in Odesa is a fake. As of now, the command of the National Guard did not receive such instructions”, the Counselor of Interior Minister posted at Facebook.
Zoryan Shkiryak urged politicians and members of civil society to stop the social network hysteria in the view of the approaching memorable date – May 2. On this day, the locals are to honor the memory of the victims of the tragedy that took place in the city two years ago. Clashes between Euromaidan and pro-Russian protesters erupted in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa during January 2014, during the lead-up to the late February revolution. Many people in southern and eastern Ukraine opposed the revolution. Odessa, largely Russophone, witnessed contnued unrest throughout 2014. The worst incident occurred on May 2, when forty-six pro-Russian protesters were killed and over 200 people were injured during a confrontation with pro-Ukrainian unity protesters at the Trade Unions House in central Odesa.
According to Zoryan Shkiryak, the National Police and the National Guard have enough resources to cope with any possible challenge. “In case of any provocations by pro-Russian destructive forces, or any other sort of attempts to destabilize the situation in the city, the law enforcers will respond severely and stop the riot. We are also tightly cooperating with units of the SBU (Ukraine’s Security Service). There’s no need for extra reinforcements for the National Guard in Odesa. Its units stationed in the city will be enough to support the police, if necessary”, the official said.
On April 26, Head of Odesa regional state administration Mikheil Saakashvili called on President Petro Poroshenko to bring units of the National Guard to the city so as to keep the public order.
According to Saakashvili’s message at Facebook, the city mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov and his city hall were behind the attack on peaceful protesters in Odesa. The incident took place on small hours of Tuesday. “It was covered by actions of the city hall; they shut down video cameras to cover things up. Security Service agents in Odesa are busy with conducting surveillance over those who are trying to implement reforms here, instead of doing their job. We are witnessing every possible sign of the state collapse”, the official posted. He also urged the President to find out how come Odesa mayor Trukhanov still possesses Russian citizenship.
On April 26, after midnight, an unknown perpetrator used an RPG to fire at a bank in Odesa. At about 4.30 a.m., another group of thugs attacked Trukhanov’s opponents who gathered for an “anti-mayor” demonstration. In turn, the activists encircled and blocked the city hall.
City mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov commented on the events in Odeas, saying that Saakashvili was behind the night attacks on protesters. He added that the incident took place due to Saakashvili’s “failure to admit his own mistakes”.