Media in Ukraine and Russia in stark contrast over Odessa blaze

A policeman looks at an Orthodox priest preparing for a service outside the burned trade union building in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the Odessa fire

Ukrainian bloggers express dismay - or little sympathy - over the deaths in Odessa, as state media in Russia toe the government line accusing Kiev of having "blood on its hands".

Ukraine reaction:

Journalist Mustafa Nayyem

"R.I.P. I find any gloating inappropriate and disgraceful. We shall win in the end, we have no alternative, but it is very important to remain human when we reach this victory."

Political analyst Yuriy Romanenko

"Regardless of whose side they were on, these people died a terrible death…This cannot bring joy to any normal human being. At such times we easily let evil into our hearts, forgetting that it is usually ordinary people who pay the price. Not a single member of parliament from any camp has died on the barricades. We have already crossed the line, but we must not let events like these destroy humanity in us."

Blogger Yevhen Ikhelzon

"Despite the fact that the unrest in Ukraine is directed from abroad, Ukrainians need national reconciliation."

Satirical blogger Roman Shrayk

"It it's confirmed that most of the victims are actually not from Odessa, then this will certainly mean that this was a special [Russian] operation gone awry."

Military journalist Dmitry Tymchuk

"From late April, the sabotage groups of Russian special services and groups of provocateurs were tasked to infiltrate Ukraine and work with local pro-Russian separatists to destabilise the situation in the south, mainly in Odessa. However, the beginning of the active phase of the antiterrorist operation in Sloviansk prompted the Russian leadership to rush things in south Ukraine and Ukrainian security services to urgently relocate forces from Donetsk region. We witnessed the tragic outcome of this monstrous act of provocation in Odessa yesterday."

Human right activist Serhiy Naumovych

"This was Nord-Ost in Odessa. Dozens of people were poisoned by gas and died. This time, by carbon monoxide. The culprit is the same."

Espreso TV presenter Oleksandr Holubov

"Forgive me, but I cannot feel sorry at all for the separatists in Odessa. There is and there cannot be any joy, but I am struggling to find any sympathy."

Kiev journalist Serhiy Vysotskyy

"As a human being, I am sorry for the people who died in the Trade Unions House. Maybe they became mercenaries because they were having a difficult life or out of stupidity or because they were genuine patriots of Russia. They had their loved ones, children, parents. But they came to Odessa with a sword and eventually died from a sword. I am sorry for them, but they wished death for my country and, therefore, made Ukraine defend itself. Killing in self-defence is not murder. But I also condemn jubilation over these deaths."

Popular Odessa blogger Iryna Medushevska

"The city of Odessa has had to prove that it is Ukraine. We have proved it! The peaceful city has suffered losses. People have died. And their blood is on the hands of the damned Putin's Berkuts [the disbanded Ukrainian police unit used by the ousted government to disperse protesters in Kiev's Maidan Square]. How many more lives are needed to build the Empire?" she wrote.

Russian reaction

State-controlled Channel One TV

"Ordinary fascism: Radicals in Odessa drove protesters into a building and set it on fire."

Gazprom-owned NTV channel

"This has already been described as an Odessa Khatyn, in reference to the tragedy in the Belorussian village where fascists burnt all its residents alive."

Russian official state television channel Rossiya 1

Yesterday's events showed once again that in the current circumstances, the Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies are helpless in the face of radicals, as was the case in February in Kiev, when an armed coup took place, which has brought the country to what is in effect a civil war."

Former envoy to NATO, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Rogozin on Twitter

"My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the massacre in Odessa! There is no forgiveness for the Kiev junta that has unleashed a civil war in Ukraine!"

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