Anyone who has studied the history of Russia is familiar with the important role played by the city of Odessa in the twentieth century. During the reign of the Czar is was always a center of resistance and its citizens fought for freedom and democracy. Communist leaders like Leon Trotsky were involved in establishing trade unions in the city and ending the rule of Czarism in Russia. It is not surprising that the people of Odessa are in the forefront for the establishment of a democratic Ukraine. Fighting broke out in Odessa between pro-Russian separatists and those seeking to remain part of the Ukraine. Pro-Russians seized a trade union building which resulted in weapons being fired, Molotov cocktails hurled down and hurled up, and by the time the conflict became fierce, the building was on fire. Reports indicate at least 31 died in the smoke and fire.
There is no doubt this type of conflict fits into plans of President Vladimir Putin. He wants violence, he wants deaths, he wants an excuse to send in Russian troops to restore “law and order.” Of course, he is responsible for the violence and the end of law and order in eastern Ukraine. At this point, the best solution is a joint EU/Russian commission which sends in observers to restore law and order!