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Foreign Ministry concerned over absence of OSCE response to Odessa tragedy

May 22, 2014, 15:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We cannot take the role of a court. But the investigation, organised by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), cannot satisfy us,” an official says
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Gagarin

MOSCOW, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia demands the tragic events in Odessa should be discussed at the UN Security Council due to Ukraine’s position, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

Russia demanded Kiev should conduct a transparent investigation into the tragedy in Odessa, the ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich has said.

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent a message to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the OSCE Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Secretary-General and the Council of Europe Secretary-General to call on them to conduct an impartial investigation into the May 2 tragic events in Odessa,” he said on Thursday.

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

Clashes with federalisation 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 Oleh Tsariov 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.

On Monday, May 19, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “Russia is indignant with the Kiev authorities’ attitude towards the tragedy in Odessa and the attempts to lie about the events.”

“We cannot take the role of a court. But the investigation, organised by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), cannot satisfy us,” he said. “We will insist the investigation be objective, impartial and complete.

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