Odessa Trade Union massacre/Clashes

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Before the horrific events at the trade union hall on the evening of May 2, 2014, the situation in Odessa was aggravated by a deadly series of mid-day clashes, and less clear violence across the city and the afternoon. A clash requiring two sides, it seems reasonable to conclude that both sides are to blame, as many have. But just who was really who in the visible confrontations is worth more careful thought than it has so far gotten.

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Odessa Clashes map.png

A useful satellite image shows three locations of the early afternoon clashes near the football stadium. The park to the left and the first clash bottom left can be seen in the UStream video of the unity rally and first clash. The top-left corner of the image is here on Wikimapia. The Trade Union Building where the massacre occurred around sunset, is around 1.5 km SSE from there. The inset map shows the areas in relation to each other.

The Guardian's Howard Amos reported "the confrontation quickly escalated into a series of skirmishes as the two sides played a deadly cat and mouse game in the centre of the city." [1] The distance between the early and later violence is remarkable - 1.5 kilometers in space, and several hours in time. The details of this middle part of the day's events come through less clearly than at the start and the end.

The roving violence ended by focusing itself at Kolukivo Polje, the square with the hall of Trade Unions and the protest camp for proponents of federalism or independence from Kiev. The Trade Union Building is of course where the massacre occurred around sunset, around 1.5 km SSE from the first incidents, at Kulikovo Polje (field) . The inset map shows the areas in relation to each other.


  1. Ukraine clashes: dozens dead after Odessa building fireHoward Amos, The Guardia, May 2, 2014