Support The Moscow Times!

Protesters Barricade City Hall in Ukraine's Odessa

Protesters in the Ukrainian city of Odessa have barricaded the city hall, Ukrainian news website reported Tuesday.

Crowds calling for the resignation of city mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov blocked entrances to the building with trash cans, tires and fences, according to media reports.

The protest was triggered after a peaceful picket was attacked in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Ukrainian news outlet reported.

Up to 40 men armed with baseball bats arrived at the picket in a minibus at around 4 a.m., Odessa regional administration official Alexander Borovik wrote on Facebook.

CCTV in the area was turned off at the time and did not capture the men beating protesters.

Local authorities reported that five of the attackers were arrested by police, said.

Protestors had been picketing outside the government building since April 10 following allegations of Trukhanov's involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.

Leaked information allegedly showed that the Odessa mayor had identified himself as a Russian citizen in more than 20 offshore holdings, Ukrainian news website reported.

“It's unlikely that the mayor will resign,” said Ukrainian journalist Katya Sergatskova.

“It was a small group of activists who were attacked. There is a possibility that protests in the city could increase, but we will have to wait and see. Kiev still hasn't reacted to the incident.”

Trukhanov has denied holding a Russian passport, which is an offense under Ukrainian law, the Meduza news website reported. Dual citizenship of any kind is not recognized in Ukraine.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.