Flowers on a broken window in memory of the people killed by fire in the Trade Unions House on Odessa’s Kulikovo Field Square –
© RIA Novosti. Anton Kruglov
SIMFEROPOL, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – About 3,000 people are expected to take part in rallies and demonstrations devoted to the tragedy of May 2 in Odessa, which are to be held in European cities on Thurdsday, one of the rallies’ organizers and a survivor of the tragedy, Oleg Muzyka told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow, on October 2, five months after the tragedy, the cities of Europe will hold actions and rallies, devoted to [the tragedy of] May 2. In Dublin [the events will take place] next to the Ukrainian Embassy, in Strasbourg – by the European Court [of Human Rights], in Brussels – next to the European Parliament,” Muzyka said, adding that the events to commemorate the victims of Odessa tragedy will be also held in Warsaw, Rome and Madrid, and that about 3,000 people are expected to participate in them. Later in Ocotber, more mass events, including art exhibitions, devoted to the tragedy, will be held in Berlin, Bonn and Vienna.
According to Muzyka, the participants of these events will demand thorough investigation of the tragedy in Odessa and urge the members of European Parliament to take an active part in investigating the crimes committed in Eastern Ukraine, including the situation with the recently found mass graves of civilians.
“Politicians are aware of what is going on in Ukraine. They see and hear everything but keep on playing the fool. They speak about it with cynicism. But the people of Europe– they really have to react on what is going on in Ukraine,” Muzyka said.
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 joined by Right Sector militia blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building with the help of 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. Local officials accused Kiev of covering up the actual death toll of at least 116.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Urges to Speed Up Odessa Tragedy Investigation
Radicals Throw Molotov Cocktails to the House of Trade Unions
© REUTERS/ Yevgeny Volokin
KIEV, August 2 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema on Saturday urged to speed up the investigation of the May 2 tragic events in Odessa, which claimed the lives of at least 48 people and injured over 200.
“In this context I would like to pay attention to the necessity of a speedy legal decision, concerning criminal proceedings over the tragic events in Odessa in early May,” UNIAN news agency quoted Yarema as saying.
The Prosecutor General recalled that following the results of an inspection the prosecutor of Odessa Region, almost all his deputies and a number of other officials were dismissed.
On May 2, clashes in Odessa broke out between pro-federalization activists and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams, later joined by Euromaidan activists.
Pro-Kiev radicals, joined by Right Sector gunmen, blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire with the help of Molotov cocktails.
According to official data, 48 people died in the fire but local officials insist the authorities in Kiev covered up the actual death toll of at least 116.
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich said last month that Kiev was deliberately hampering the investigation into the tragedy, as well as into other cases of human rights violations in Ukraine.
Russia’s Lavrov Calls for OPCW Help in Odessa Tragedy Probe
MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday Ukrainian investigators probing the deadly arson fire in Odessa on May 2 could make use of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
“We are convinced that it is totally possible and necessary to use the possibilities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, given the facts that emerge and need to be analyzed and double-checked, [facts] about poisonous gas used in the Trade Unions House,” Lavrov said.
Earlier this month, Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa saw the bloodiest episode of violence since the start of the crisis in the country in February. A fire at the city’s Trade Unions House that followed clashes between pro-federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other claimed the lives of 48 people, with most of the victims dying of smoke inhalation or after jumping out of windows.
Six died of bullet wounds, 32 suffocated, and 10 fell to their death by jumping through the windows of the burning building. Another 214 were injured. According to reports, another 48 could still be missing.
No plausible explanation has been offered for the fact that many of those who died did not try to take refuge on upper floors or the roof, prompting rumors that they were poisoned by an unknown chemical.
Last week, Human Rights Watch said the Odessa massacre constituted a grave crime that demanded a serious, impartial, and thorough investigation.
HRW Deputy Director in Central Europe and Asia Rachel Denber said the Ukrainian government has a “tendency to absolve the pro-unity side of wrongdoing,” which she said did not “inspire confidence” in the investigation.