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UN investigating May 2 massacre in Odessa, says Russian ambassador

June 03, 2014, 7:35 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

The report is due to be presented officially June 17

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UNITED NATIONS, June 03, /ITAR-TASS/. United Nations is scrutinizing the tragic events that occurred in Odessa May 2, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters Monday.

He added, however, that there is no full-blown criminal investigation on the part of the world’s top international agency.

An official query for holding an inquiry into the Odessa massacre and on bringing the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into it was sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of May.

“We received an answert,” Churkin said. “I wouldn’t like to go into details but we were told work in that area was in progress - not in the form of a full-blown investigation, which we’d naturally find more preferable but still we were given the assurances the UN officials didn’t leave the problem unattended.”

“We’ll see what kind of findings the UN will present as a result,” he said.

As for the involvement of the OPCW in the investigation, the issue is still undecided. “Yet we’re hopeful and we have definite contacts with them, too,” Churkin said.

May 20, Vladimir Bodelan, the chief of the Odessa regional branch of Ukraine’s service for emergency situations said the majority of the 32 people, who died May 2 in the Odessa House of the Trade Unions after the militants of the Right Sector and Maidan self-defense had set fire to it, were actually poisoned with an unknown chemical, possibly chloroform.

Last week, the official spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stefan Dujaric said the massacre in Odessa would be considered in the next report of a UN mission watching the observance of human rights in Ukraine.

The report is due to be presented officially June 17.

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