Ukraine Sends Special Forces to Replace Local Police in Odessa

Moves Detained Protesters Out of City Fearing More Releases

Ukraine’s government continues to fume over the growing protests in Odessa, and yesterday’s release of 67 detainees after protesters marched against the police headquarters.

That was not all of the pro-Russia protesters being detained, and Ukraine’s Interior Ministry announced dozens of detainees are being moved to other cities pending trials. It may also be the end of Odessa’s police department.

With the interim government blaming the police for not cracking down on the protesters sooner, they have now deployed special forces to the major port city to “replace” the police with people more willing to move against dissent.

Interim Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk yesterday announced the firing of Odessa police chief Pyotr Lutsyuk for what he called potentially criminal failure to stop the pro-Russia protests in the city. On Friday, far-right protesters aligned with the government moved against the pro-Russian faction, setting a fire that killed 38 of them.

The interim government has dubbed the killings a “tragedy” but also seem to see cracking down on the surviving victims of the fire as a way to prevent a recurrence.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.