ODESSA, Ukraine – Pro-Russian activists in the Black Sea port city of Odessa have vowed to take city buildings after attending the funeral of a politician who died in a fire that killed over 40 people last week.
Regional parliament member Vyacheslav Markin, who was known for speaking out against the government in Kiev, was buried on Monday while about 300 pro-Russian supporters shouted "Hero, hero!" Markin died Sunday from burn wounds sustained in Friday's fire.
Many of those at the funeral wore the St. George black-and-orange ribbon that has become a ubiquitous symbol of the pro-Russian protest movement in Ukraine and said they were planning to storm the regional government building in Odessa later that afternoon.
Pro-Russian militants have seized administrative buildings and police stations across much of southern and eastern Ukraine.