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It Was A Crazy Bloody Day In The Eastern Ukrainian City Of Mariupol

Fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian militants left many dead and injured.

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Fighting erupted Friday between pro-Russia militants and Ukrainian soldiers in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, leaving at least three dead and dozens wounded, amid scenes of burning buildings, bloodied bodies, and smoke filling the streets.

Barricades burning outside #Mariupol city council building today in #ukraine

Simon Denyer@simondenyer

Barricades burning outside #Mariupol city council building today in #ukraine

11:00 AM - 9 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The street battles began mid-morning after Ukrainian troops moved to retake a police station seized by pro-Russia militants. Mariupol, and other cities in east Ukraine, are set to vote Sunday on a referendum on secession that Kiev has denounced.

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Both sides disputed the number of dead and wounded. Ukrainian authorities said that 20 pro-Russian militants were dead, while Donestsk medical authorities told The Guardian that three people were killed and 25 wounded.

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Here, Ukrainian soldiers fire rounds as a Russian speaker shouts vulgarities. One of those shot is reportedly a journalist.

Images live-streamed and posted to social media showed destroyed banks and government buildings, tire barricades, and armed men roaming the streets. Graphic pictures also showed a dead body, covered by a blanket.

Smoke rises from #Mariupol police station today after fighting

Simon Denyer@simondenyer

Smoke rises from #Mariupol police station today after fighting

10:56 AM - 9 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Journalists on the ground reported hearing both automatic weapons and several loud explosions.

Building clearly fired at with something heavier than a kalashnikov

Olaf Koens@obk

Building clearly fired at with something heavier than a kalashnikov

10:22 AM - 9 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Here, people try to stop an armored Ukrainian tank from moving through the streets of Mariupol, with gunfire and shouts in Russian in the background.

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At one point, pro-Russian militants seized a different abandoned Ukrainian tank, raised the Donetsk separatist flag above it, and paraded it through the streets.

The renewed unrest between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militants coincided with a holiday to celebrate WWII's end and honor those killed fighting Nazi Germany for the Soviet Union — and stoked fears about the outcome of Sunday's vote.

Strange atmosphere here in Mariupol. Electricity out in parts, barricades being pulled up. Feels like a country on the brink of civil war.

Olaf Koens@obk

Strange atmosphere here in Mariupol. Electricity out in parts, barricades being pulled up. Feels like a country on the brink of civil war.

11:09 AM - 9 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Loads of tears and blood here in Mariupol.

Olaf Koens@obk

Loads of tears and blood here in Mariupol.

09:04 AM - 9 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor

Contact Miriam Berger at miriam.berger+done@buzzfeed.com.

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