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Ukraine’s parliament registers draft bill to look into civilians’ murders

May 13, 2014, 16:04 UTC+3
The commission will be investigating crimes committed in Odessa, Mariupol and Karsnoarmiysk, as well as in other towns in Ukraine’s south and east
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Lit candles and floral tributes inside the House of Trade Unions in Odessa where scores of demonstrators died after the building was set on fire during the May 2 clashes

Lit candles and floral tributes inside the House of Trade Unions in Odessa where scores of demonstrators died after the building was set on fire during the May 2 clashes

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Voitenko

KIEV, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has registered a draft bill on setting up an interim investigative commission to look into the facts of mass homicide of civilians in the country’s south-east. This initiative was proposed by MPs Vadim Novinskiy from the Party of Regions’ parliamentary faction and Andriy Ivanchuk, deputy head of the Batkivshchyna party faction.

The draft bill stipulates that the relevant commission will be investigating crimes committed in Odessa, Mariupol and Karsnoarmiysk, as well as in other towns in Ukraine’s south and east.

Earlier, MP Nestor Shufrich representing the Party of Regions suggested to set up a commission for the investigation of murders of civilians in Ukraine’s south-east in his address from the rostrum.

“The deputies should gain insight into this, voting for setting up the commission immediately. Those guilty should be punished,” the parliamentary said. He added that the Party of Regions demanded “to stop all military actions in the county’s east except countering plunderers”.

“Civilians that come out to express their public stance should be calm and sure that servicemen would not shoot at them, and that no armored vehicles would be used against them,” he stressed.

Developments in south-eastern Ukraine

In the Donetsk region city of Mariupol, Ukrainian law enforcers opened fire from armored vehicles on participants of a rally held to honor Victory Day on May 9, gathered near the building of the local Interior Ministry department and trying to prevent its being stormed.

According to representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, at least 10 people died during the shooting. Ukrainian lawmaker Oleh Tsariov said at least 40 people were killed. TV channels showed footage of law enforcers using armored vehicles against unarmed citizens and people hit by armored personnel carriers. The city council declared May 10 a day of mourning in Mariupol.

On Victory Day, Russia and other former Soviet republics mark the 69th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Unrest in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa started on May 2 in the afternoon, when football fans from the east Ukrainian city of Kharkov marched along city streets with Right Sector radicals and supporters from Kiev's Maidan Self-Defense Force.

Clashes broke out with campaigners seeking a referendum on the issue of Ukrainian federalization and Russian's official status as a state language.

At least 48 people died and more than 200 were injured in clashes in Odessa after radicals set ablaze the regional House of Trade Unions, where pro-federalization activists had taken refuge, and a tent camp near it where activists were collecting signatures in support of the referendum.

Some Ukrainian politicians say the clashes took the lives of at least 116 people. Kiev authorities seek to conceal exact figures.

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