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Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, security service do not cooperate with UN monitors

June 18, 2014, 15:39 UTC+3 GENEVA
The UN came out with a second call for thorough investigation of the May 2 violence
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© ITAR-TASS/Maksim Voitenko

GENEVA, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The monitoring mission of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Office (OHCHR) has expressed regret that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry and security service do not cooperate with UN experts in investigating the tragic events in Odessa.

The OHCHR said in its third report that a number of issues still required clarification. It came out with a second call for thorough investigation of the May 2 violence that claimed 42 lives.

Such a position makes it impossible for the mission to draw up its own conclusions, the mission went on to say.

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.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights set up a monitoring mission in Ukraine last March to gather information on human rights abuse. The mission has 34 employees working in the capital Kiev, Lvov (Western Ukraine), Odessa, Donetsk and Kharkov (South-East Ukraine).

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.

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