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Deputy calls for turning to International Court in connection with Odessa massacre

May 15, 2014, 22:45 UTC+3 KIEV
Kivalov registered a relevant draft resolution in parliament on Thursday
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KIEV, May 15 /ITAR-TASS/. Sergei Kivalov from Ukraine’s Party of Regions urged Ukrainian deputies on Thursday to ask the International Criminal Court to prosecute persons responsible for the death of 48 people during the Odessa massacre on May 2 this year.

Kivalov registered a relevant draft resolution in parliament on Thursday, the deputy’s press service reports. .

The draft says that Ukraine should recognize the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction “in connection with the crimes committed against humanity which led to particularly grave consequences - the intentional pre-planned massacre of civilians in a particularly brutal and cynical manner during peaceful actions in the city of Odessa on May 2, 2014.”

Odessa saw riots on May 2, during which soccer fans who came from the city of Kharkov, as well as Right Sector far-right ultranationalist movement militants and so-called “Maidan self-defense” representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets.

Clashes with federalization supporters occurred during the march. Radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents were hiding, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian.

At least 48 people died and more than 200 were injured in the clashes and the fire in the Trade Unions House. Another 48 people are listed as missing. Many Ukrainian politicians, including people’s deputy Oleg Tsaryov and Odessa regional council deputy Vadim Savenko, say the official death count figures are understated. They assert that the death toll reached 116 but that the Kiev authorities are concealing the facts.

“We really know what actually happened to the killed people - they were just listed as missing,” Savenko told journalists. He accused the Kiev authorities of “trying to free from blame those Right Sector and so-called ‘Maidan self-defense’ militants who organized the massacre in Odessa.”

Ukraine has been in turmoil after a coup occurred in the country in February. New people were propelled to power amid riots as security concerns caused President Viktor Yanukovich to leave the country the same month.

After Crimea’s accession to Russia on March 18 following a referendum two days before, protests against the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories, with demonstrators seizing some government buildings and demanding federalization.

Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against pro-federalization activists.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

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