New Yorkers Mark Anniversary of Odessa Tragedy, Call for US to Stay Out of Ukraine

Flowers and candles brought to mourn the victims of the fire at the Trade Unions House on Kulikovo Field in Odessa.

Flowers and candles brought to mourn the victims of the fire at the Trade Unions House on Kulikovo Field in Odessa. © RIA Novosti. Anton Kruglov

RIA NOVOSTI

NEW YORK, November 3 (RIA Novosti) – New Yorkers, who gathered in the Times Square to commemorate the six month anniversary of the May 2 Odessa tragedy, urged the United States not to intervene in the situation in Ukraine.

The demonstration, which was organized in the Times Square Sunday, was conducted under the slogan “We don’t want another war, US out of Ukraine!”

“We issued a petition which is going all over the world calling the US to stop all money direct or indirect aid to Kiev, demanding an independent investigation of events in Odessa. And stop the US policy of NATO extension that is threatening to draw the whole world into another conflict,” Greg Butterfield, a Coordinator of the Ukraine antifascist solidarity committee of the International Action Center told RIA Novosti Sunday.

According to Butterfield, the petition, which now has around a thousand signatures, will be sent to Washington.

“The Ukrainian regime backed by the United States has not conducted a serious investigation mush less taking any measures to punish the guilty…we are here today as people from the US from a lot of different backgrounds to say that we want the truth about this and we want to know what role the US government has played in organizing it,” Butterfield stressed.

On May 2, clashes in Odessa broke out between independence supporters on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, later joined by Euromaidan activists.

Pro-Kiev radicals and Right Sector militia blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire, using Molotov cocktails. Those trapped inside had little chance of extinguishing the blaze, as fire hoses in the building were out of order.

At least 48 people died, and over 200 were injured as a result of the fire. Local officials accused Kiev of covering up the actual death toll of at least 116.

A military conflict erupted between Kiev and independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine in mid-April, when the country’s authorities launched a special operation against local populations, opposed to the new government, which came to power as a result of the February coup.

Since the beginning of the crisis Kiev has been striving for closer cooperation with NATO. In September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech at the US Congress claiming that his country needed strong US support, including special status with NATO.

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