5 May 2014, 19:43

Kiev conceals deaths in Odessa fire, 116 killed - Ukrainian lawmaker

Kiev conceals deaths in Odessa fire, 116 killed - Ukrainian lawmaker

The interim Ukrainian authorities are hiding from the public the true death toll in Friday's tragedy in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, which actually claimed 116 lives, a member of the Odessa regional council told RIA Novosti Monday. "According to our data, there were 116 people killed in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa. Killed, not just "dead". "We don't use the word "burned" or "suffocated", because autopsies are not being performed, since the people have bullet wounds to the head," Vadim Savenko said.

Most of those who died in the House of Trade Unions had burns on their heads and forearms, he added.

"It means that the people had been burned by combustible mixtures, so that it would be impossible to identify the bodies," he said, adding that he obtained the information from anti-Kiev activists, "people who were inside the House of Trade Unions."

The interim Kiev authorities have carried out a cover-up of the scale of the tragedy so that the world community wouldn't know that a punitive operation against pro-federalization activists had been carried out in Odessa, the lawmaker said.

Russia's Public Chamber to sue Kiev in EHRC for Odessa tragedy 

On Friday, Ukraine saw the bloodiest violence since the February overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, with dozens killed in clashes across the country, with the highest casualty toll in Odessa. According to official data, at least 40 "anti-Maidan" activists died in the fire in Odessa's House of Trade Unions.

The city's Prosecutor's Office said a total of 46 people died in the violence and almost 200 others sustained injuries. The clashes in Odessa broke out between federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams, joined by Euromaidan activists, on the other.

Pro-Kiev radicals blockaded the anti-government protesters in the building, setting it on fire. Many burned to death, while others died of smoke inhalation or jumped out of windows. According to eye witnesses, police did nothing to prevent the unrest and murder.

Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk accused the country's Interior Ministry of failing to prevent the tragedy. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the events a result of "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."

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