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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3,000 Protest Ukraine Mayor's Ouster

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- About 3,000 supporters of Yalta Mayor Alexander Kalyus, who was fired last week by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, demonstrated Tuesday outside a council building where 10 local deputies sat with the deposed city leader.

The entrance to the building was blocked by about 400 Interior Ministry troops and police. No violence was reported.

Kuchma replaced Kalyus, who was elected in the Black Sea resort of 100,000, with Volodymyr Marchenko, a senior Ukrainian government official in charge of Crimean state dachas and sanatoriums. Kiev accused Kalyus and his team of mishandling privatization in Crimea.

Local deputies and parliamentarians in the Crimean Peninsula said Kuchma's decree could lead to direct presidential rule in the region, which has its own constitution.