: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Saakashvili: Tactics used by Russia in Crimea may be used in Odesa on May 2


Odesa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili says that the tactics used by Russia during the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 – ”special operations forces and military troops hiding behind old people, women and children standing in front” – may be used in Odesa on May 2, the second anniversary of the Odesa fire incident, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
”Everyone remembers Putin, when speaking about Crimea, said: ”We would send old people, women and children ahead, and they will be followed by our special operations forces and troops.” He did so in Crimea. And this is their plan for Odesa on May 2. Politicians, victims` families, ordinary people who have really suffered [from the incident] but who do not want to be associated with any external plans will be put in front. They have got their own, personal tragedy. This is a huge tragedy, irrespective of any political context,” Saakashvili said at a briefing on Sunday.
In his words, he knows Putin`s methods well.
”I have no illusions, moreover, he has already announced his steps,” he added.
While commenting on the arrival of some Members of Parliament from the Opposition Bloc in Odesa on May 2 for participation in a rally on Kulykove Pole Square where the incident took place two years ago, Saakashvili said that agents provocateurs would try to use politicians, the victims and their family members as screening.
Saakashvili said that no one can bar anyone from arriving and expressing their own point of view, however, it is unacceptable when politicians use the incident as a publicity stunt.
”Let it be on their conscience,” he added.
He also said hundreds of people had died and might die in Donbas because of ”such provocations.”
”We are not that na?ve to let foreign special services stage such an operation in Odesa,” he said.
All public rallies in Odesa on May 2 this year are planned to take place on Kulykove Pole. Odesa`s district administrative court on April 26 did not satisfy the municipal authorities` claim to ban mass events on the city`s central square during the May holidays.
Over 3,000 law enforcement troops have already arrived in Odesa to maintain law and order in the city during the festivities. Rescue teams, paramedics, security service, police and border officers have been working in special security regime.
Memo. Forty-eight people died during riots with the participation of anti-Maidan supporters and Euromaidan activists and a fire incident in Odesa on May 2, 2014. About 300 people were injured.
After clashes in the center of the city where some people were shot to death, pro-Ukrainian activists moved to Kulykovo Pole where separatists had a tent camp. Then tents caught fire and a fire started in the Trade Unions House building, where most of the victims of the Odesa incident died.

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