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Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast: A Year After the Odessa Massacre, Burning Hatred Divides the City

This beautiful city on the Black Sea has become a symbol of the complex suspicions and conspiracies that plague Ukraine.

ODESSA, Ukraine—Several women surrounded a man taking a cell phone video of people laying flowers around photographs of victims killed in the horrific fire at Odessa's Trade Unions House last year.

The women were hostile, even menacing. The man looked suspicious to them, could be “a provocateur,” they said, maybe even a pro-Euromaidan activist, a category of person nobody was going to tolerate on Kulikovo Pole Square, where thousands of local residents gathered on Saturday to mourn 42 victims killed on May 2, 2014.

That had been a day of violent protests and confrontations between those who supported closer ties with Russia and those fighting what they saw as Moscow’s attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty. In the mêlée, members of the pro-Russian faction retreated into a large office building. Molotov cocktails were thrown back and forth, and the building began to burn. But those on the street would not let those inside escape. Those inside died from fire, and smoke inhalation, and because they leaped from windows to their doom.

WNU Editor: As my regular readers know .... there was a time when I wanted to live in Odessa. I lived in the city for a short period of time .... and being on the Black Sea was (to me) a bonus. I even found my dream home there .... but when it went on the market a few months ago .... it was tempting but I did not bite. Odessa is no longer the city that I fell in loved with years ago .... it .... like Ukraine .... is now (sadly) something else.

When the massacre happened last year I wrote a commentary on it .... when I read it today .... I am surprised on how prophetic I was. My worst case scenario has become today's reality. The link to that post is here.

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