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    Posted March 4, 2014 by
    Odessa, Ukraine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    bdroachesq and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    On March 3, 2014, roughly 6,000 plus Odessa Ukrainians met in front of the Odessa Regional State Administration Office Building to show their support for a united Ukraine and against Russian troop occupation in Crimea. They were confronted by a small group of 100 plus Odessa Russians that blocked the entrance doors waving Russian and Stalin flags.

    Standing in the crowd one could hear slogans shouted like the following:

    • “Go from Odessa”
    • “Ukraine is everything”
    • “Putin is fascist”
    • “Down with the Russian flag”
    • “Ukrainian National Anthem was sung”
    • “Odessa is Ukraine”
    • “Prayer being read by priest”

    Additionally, one could witness the unity and countryhood amongst demonstrators. Also, Ukrainians shared different foods and drinks with each other throughout the protest. You cold feel the brotherhood in the atmosphere.

    The confrontation was peaceful, but at one time, women and children were asked to move to the back of the protest because unknown gunmen were spotted within the crowd. Additionally, participants were very careful not to use language and/or slogans that would incite physical violent behavior. At times, when a person began to shout a slogan that was deemed to cause provocation, they were immediately admonished and silenced by other participants.

    Everyone was mindful not to cause a violent confrontation between Odessa, Ukrainians and Russian Ukrainians. It was understood that Putin was looking for any pretext to send troops to Ukraine to allegedly protect Russian citizens.

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