Funeral Held for People Killed in Divided Mariupol

World Today

Mourners came to pay their respects on Monday at the funeral of a man killed in clashes in the south-east Ukrainian city of Mariupol last week.

Rodion Dobrodomov, a soldier with a Ukrainian army unit, the ‘Azov’ battalion, died when fighting erupted between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian protesters on Friday, leaving the city center blocked off after residents built barricades of tires and set the police headquarters on fire.

A large crowd assembled at the funeral and carried flowers in Ukraine’s  national colors, blue and yellow, to place by the grave.

One woman cried out as the coffin was lowered into the ground.

Violence first flared in Mariupol, a strategic port city on the Azov Sea in the troubled Donetsk region, last month when Mariupol’s city hall was occupied for more than a week by pro-Russian protesters.

Ukrainian officials said seven people died in the violence on Friday.

But residents said government troops fired on unarmed protesters and attacked police who were protecting demonstrators occupying the nearby administration headquarters.