48 still unaccounted for after Ukraine's Odessa massacre - media
Up to 1,500 Maidan supporters staged a march in Odessa on May 2, destroying their opponents' tent city in Kulykovo Pole Square.
As a result of the events, several hundred anti-Kyiv activists found themselves trapped in the Trade Unions House, at which Maidan supporters started to throw Molotov cocktails. A fire then broke out in the Trade Unions House, killing 46 people and injuring over 200.
On May 3-5, Odessa mourned the victims of the events.
The southern Ukrainian city of Odessa will continue burying those who died in a fire in the regional Trade Unions House set ablaze by radicals a few days ago. Funerals that started on Monday were suspended because Odessa forensic medical experts needed extra time to finish the identification of 37 victims, whose bodies were found in burnt-out offices inside the building, and determine the cause of their death.
According to officially published data, five people were shot dead, eight died when they fell from a height in an attempt to escape fire and those who pursued them, and 24 people died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. The death toll includes six women. Those who died were aged 18-62.
MP Oleg Tsaryov and a number of other Ukrainian politicians have already told journalists that the authorities deliberately understated the death count in fear of popular unrest. Local media said, with reference to unnamed law enforcers and forensic medical experts, that 72 or even 116 were killed.
The reports make the atmosphere in the city even tenser. The authorities have reinforced the protection of strategic facilities, canceled all mass events scheduled for Victory Day and taken other measures.
The parents of schoolchildren were told not to let their children go outside in the evening and teach them not to lift unknown objects from the ground.
Riots started in Odessa on May 2 after soccer fans who came from the city of Kharkov, as well as Right Sector far-right ultranationalist movement radicals and so-called "Maidan self-defense" representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets that resulted in clashes with federalization supporters.
As a result, radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Ukrainian. The authorities said the clashes and fire left 46 people dead; more than 200 sought medical assistance.
A massacre – that’s the proper word to describe the May 2 tragedy in Odessa, where dozens of people trapped in the House of Trade Unions were burnt to death after pro-Kiev fascist-led radicals set fire to the building, the Canadian-based Global Research Center, a nongovernmental think-tank for research on globalization, said in an article published on its website.
Global Research holds Washington and its allies responsible for the fascist massacre in Odessa.
"Despite Western media attempts to cover up what happened in Odessa—with multiple reports stating that ‘the exact sequence of events is still unclear’—there is no doubt that the killings in the southern port city were instigated by thugs wearing the insignia of the Right Sector, which holds positions in the Kiev regime, along with the like-minded Svoboda party," the article says.
"The violence started as around 1,500 supporters of the Kiev authorities, who recently arrived in the city, gathered at Sobornaya Square in central Odessa. Armed with chains and bats and carrying shields, they marched through the city, chanting ‘Glory to Ukraine’, ‘Death to enemies’ and ‘Knife the Moskals’ [derogatory for Russians]."
They first surrounded and set fire to a tent camp of anti-maidan activists and then, after some of the protesters retreated into the House of Trade Unions and barricaded themselves inside, torched the building.
"It was Washington and its allies, particularly the German government that orchestrated the ultra-nationalist February putsch in Kiev and then exploited the reaction of Moscow, and Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population, to accuse Russia of threatening Ukraine. Having poured some $5 billion into the country to install the Kiev regime via violent paramilitary operations, it is now accusing Russia, without producing any serious evidence, of doing the very same thing," Global Research says.
Violence in Odessa was preceded by a football match between the local Chernomorets club and Kharkov’s Metallist. After the game, played earlier the same day, hardline fans – ultras - staged a joint march in support of a united Ukraine. The BBC acknowledged in its report that there were maidan veterans and Right Sector ultras among the marchers.
The marchers encountered a group of protesters wearing orange-and-black-striped St. George Ribbons. One of the fans was quoted by the BBC as saying that they had been attacked "by these guys in army helmets with baseball bats".
"Other reports suggested some of the activists on both sides were well-armed and well-protected," the BBC said.
Fighting broke out, during which an anti-maidan tent camp was burned. The anti-maidan protesters sought refuge in the House of Trade Unions. Someone threw a Molotov cocktail and the building was engulfed in flames.
Western media tend to brand federalization supporters in Ukraine as "pro-Russian" and "separatists". According to the AFP, the Odessa death toll has its roots "not only in the worsening political confrontation but also rampant football hooliganism".