A clash Friday between supporters of Ukrainian unity and Russian-backed separatists in the Black Sea port of Odessa left 42 people dead and scores injured, police said.
Thirty of the victims died of smoke inhalation after a fire was set in the central trade union building, where pro-Russia separatists reportedly had taken up sniper positions to fire on pro-unity demonstrators, police said.
Eight others died after leaping from upper-floor windows of the burning building, authorities said.
The deadly fire followed a fierce battle between rival groups of marchers in the historic port that straddles Ukraine’s volatile ethnic fault line. Odessa is a predominantly Russian-speaking city that is geographically and culturally closer to the pro-Europe western areas of Ukraine.
Hate to say it, but the “Galicia Option” is looking less likely and (even as awful as it is) more desirable.