Eduard Hurvits said on 2 March that the political opposition was responsible for the recent spate of violence in Odessa, which he described as an effort to force him out. Hurvits added that police have links with criminal groups that want him ousted. He noted that they have not even investigated the disappearance of city official Ihor Svoboda, Hurvits' friend, who was allegedly kidnapped last week and is still missing. Hurvits is currently engaged in a power struggle with regional administration chairman Ruslan Bodelan, who has filed mismanagement charges against Hurvits and called for him to be replaced. PB
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