MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – There is still no information from Kiev on the progress of independent investigations into the tragic events in Odessa where more than 40 people died earlier this month, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
“By the way, there is still no information on how the independent investigation is going on the tragic events in Odessa on May 2, where more than 40 people died, and according to other information there were many more, more than 200, who received different levels of injury,” Alexander Lukashevich said during a briefing.
“This is an occurrence of irresponsibility by the Kiev authorities, which openly indulge their national radicals, including the Right Sector [movement]. The tragedy in Odessa has become yet another confirmation of Kiev’s use of force, but dragging on the investigation by the Kiev authorities will not work,” he added.
Clashes in Odessa broke out May 2 between pro-federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, 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 on fire by hurling Molotov cocktails inside. Those trapped inside had little chance of extinguishing the blaze, as fire hoses in the building were out of order.
At least 46 people died, three went missing and 214 were injured, according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The interim government in Kiev has been accused by local officials of covering up the actual death toll of at least 116.
Although officials said most of the victims died of smoke inhalation or were killed when jumping out of windows, media rumors suggest that many of the dead had gunshot wounds or were poisoned by an unknown toxic chemical.
The skirmishes were the bloodiest episode of violence in Ukraine since the start of the Ukrainian crisis in February.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the events a result of the “criminal irresponsibility of the Kiev leadership indulging insolent nationalist radicals, including Right Sector, who are staging a campaign of physical terror against supporters of federalization and real constitutional changes in Ukrainian society.”
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Parliament backed a motion to set up a temporary investigative committee to look into civilian deaths in Odessa, Mariupol, Krasnoarmiisk, as well as other cities in southern and eastern Ukraine.