GROZNY, May 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, called Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s statement on a fire in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Odessa on Saturday, as “cutting-edge cynicism” and “over-the-top impudence.”
A total of 46 people were killed and over 200 wounded after radicals attacked and reportedly set on fire Odessa’s Trade Union House, which was occupied by local pro-federalization activists. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry later said in a statement that it were the people inside the building, who started the fire using Molotov cocktails.
“This was a cutting-edge cynicism and some kind of over-the-top impudence,” Kadyrov said in an interview with Itar-Tass. “There is video available showing some people, which I doubt were females, pouring gasoline inside of bottles. After that, radical youngsters were throwing these bottles at the building, ground floors were set ablaze and people were trying to save their lives by jumping out the windows. However, we and the whole world were eventually told that the fire erupted on the upper floors.”
“Not even fascists acted like this,” he continued. “First, to burn people alive by blocking all entrances and setting them on fire, and then to tell the whole world that it were the people inside the building, who hurled bottles with flammable substance at each other.”
The Chechen leader also said he was shocked with another video, which showed extremists from the radical Right Sector movement touring the Trade Union House after the fire, inspecting dead bodies and making jokes.
“This is the place of tragedy, the place of sorrow,” Kadyrov said. “This is the crime scene on top of everything. Where were policemen, who had to conduct investigation and cordon off the building? The obvious conclusion is that there are no policemen. There are only extremists, who are killing people and telling the whole world outrageous lies.”
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea's incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, seized some government buildings.
The Kiev authorities have been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders brought to power by the coup, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian nationals supporting federalization.