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Odessa Demonstrators Burn Putin in Effigy to Protest Savchenko Trial

Protesters hold a rally in support of former Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko near the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, March 9, 2016.

Demonstrators in the Ukrainian city of Odessa have burned a dummy of Russian President Vladimir Putin in protest against the trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, local online news site Segodnya.ua reported Wednesday.

The dummy — with the face of Putin depicted as Adolf Hitler — was burned by the protesters in front of the Russian consulate. The demonstrators threw eggs and plastic bags filled with paint at the building, the news website reported.

The Odessa rally in support of Savchenko was attended by around 100 people, according to the TASS news agency. A number of protesters tried to break into the consulate and police used batons and tear gas to repel them.

Earlier on Wednesday, several hundred demonstrators in Kiev demanded that Moscow release the imprisoned pilot and pelted the Russian Embassy with stones and bottles filled with iodine, the TASS news agency reported.

Protesters have been attacking the Russian Embassy in Kiev since March 6. On Wednesday, two rows of policemen cordoned off the building, according to TASS.

Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadezhda Savchenko has been on trial in Russia on charges of abetting the killing of two Russian journalists during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Savchenko's trial and imprisonment has been condemned in Ukraine and the West.

On March 3, Savchenko started a dry hunger strike in protest against the judgement of the court to postpone her closing statement.

The final verdict will be announced by the court on March 21-22.

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