3 May 2014, 09:13

Ukraine: Odessa declares three day mourning for 46 people burned alive by Right Sector fighters

Ukraine: Odessa declares three day mourning for 46 people burned alive by Right Sector fighters

Three-day mourning is declared in Odessa over Friday's tragic events, which took 46 lives, according to the information of the city council. According to the updated information, hospitals received 123 people injured in clashes. Forty of them were hospitalized, including 17 in critical condition. Most of those who were killed died from smoke inhalation, while others perished trying to escape by jumping out of windows. Forty one people died. Odessa has declared a three day mourning. 

"May 3, 4 and 5 are declared mourning days," the council said in a statement on its website.

Ukrainian and Odessa flags with black ribbons will be lowered to half-mast on administrative buildings.

More than 30 people were killed in a criminal blaze in Ukraine's southern city of Odessa, as violence spread across the country during the bloodiest day since Kiev's Western-backed government took power. Ukraine's interior ministry said at least 31 people had died in the fire Friday, with local media reporting that pro-Russian protesters were believed to have been in the burning building at the time.  

Moscow blames Kiev for tragic events in Odessa

Moscow condemns the actions that have led to 38 deaths in Odessa and blames Kiev for it.

"The tragic events in Odessa on May 2, in which, according to reports, 38 people died and 50 were injured, are viewed in Moscow as criminal irresponsibility of the Kiev leadership indulging insolent nationalist radicals, including the Right Sector, who are staging a campaign of physical terror against supporters of federalization and real constitutional changes in the Ukrainian society," the Russia Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We categorically condemn it," the ministry said.

Moscow urged Kiev to give more information whether Russians were among Odessa fire victims, otherwise the report would be viewed as a new attempt to blame Russia for everything, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

Ukrainian media reported that 15 of the victims in Odessa were Russian citizens who allegedly had participated in protests.

"A question arises on what materials such conclusions are based. If all the victims are identified and there are confirming documents, they must be immediately made public, but not playing on feelings of relatives of the victims and trying to stir up emotions among people who are already pushed to the edge of the abyss.

"If there were no identification and no documents, then such a statement is another attempt to convince the public of some 'Russian trace' found in Odessa protest meetings.

"Such intention to blame Russia for everything at any cost, even at the cost of cruelly killed people, is prompted by the attempt to remove the responsibility from the Kiev leadership for what is happening in Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

Former Odessa governor calls for urgent convening of council meeting

Former governor of the Odessa region and deputy Nikolai Skorik demands to urgently convene a session of the regional council in connection with Friday's disorders provoked by Right Sector and Self Defence radicals who arrived from Kiev.

According to the updated information of the Odessa city council, 41 people were killed and 123 were injured in the disorders.

"In our city, blood is shed, and scores of our fellow countrymen are dead or crippled. The situation is out of control of authorities. An end must put to it. Odessa citizens must know the names of those guilty of mass disorders and deaths," Skorik said in a letter sent to the regional council chairman, Nikolai Tindyuk.

The press service of the Ukrainian government said the cabinet had sent a commission headed by Ukrainian parliament-appointed First Vice Premier Vitaly Yaryoma to Odessa to inquire into circumstances of the deaths of people in clashes and the fire in the House of Trade Unions.

The disturbance began in Odessa in the daytime on Friday with a mass brawl at Grecheskaya Street. It was instigated by football fans from Kharkov and Right Sector and Self-Defence radicals from Kiev, who decided to organize a march on Odessa streets. They provoked clashes with federalization supporters. Forcing them out, radicals set fire to a camp at Kulikovo Field where activists collected signatures to hold a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and the official status of the Russian language. Activists from the camp escaped to the nearby building of the regional House of Trade Unions, and radicals set fire to the building. When the fire reached the upper floors, many of the people there died from smoke. Others jumped from upper floors and died when falling. Those who survived were cruelly beaten by Kiev radicals with batons.

Regional council member and Odessa mayoral candidate Alexei Albu was also attacked.

"When we came out of the burning building, a crowd of nationalists attacked us. I can say that about a hundred people were hurt. People jumped out of windows. Everything was in smoke. People lying on the ground were kicked with feet. I and one of our activists, Vlad, have serious head injuries. We are heading for a hospital. Earlier in the day, our activist Ivan received a bullet wound. Right Sector members who attacked the House of Trade Unions were fully equipped, armed and prepared beforehand," Albu said. He is in a hospital where he has received first aid.

On Friday evening, medical personnel in Odessa asked city residents to help save scores of injured people. First of all dressings and antibiotics were needed. Hospitals were short of them, said doctors at the city's first clinic, where injured people were taken.

According to the updated information of the Odessa city council, hospitals received 123 people injured in clashes. Forty of them were hospitalized, including 17 in critical condition. Forty one people died.

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