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Russian Foreign Ministry: year after Odessa tragedy, Kiev makes no steps to investigate it

May 01, 2015, 17:55 updated at: May 01, 2015, 20:21 UTC+3
A course for spinning the process is confirmed by a recent report of the International Consultation Group on investigation of the Euromaidan events acting under the aegis of the Council of Europe
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Relatives of those killed in the May 2 Odessa tragedy

Relatives of those killed in the May 2 Odessa tragedy

© Arkhip Vereschagin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 1. /TASS/. A year after the tragic events in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, Ukrainian justice is not seeking to conduct an unbiased probe into the May 2014 massacre there, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The ministry said May 2 will mark "a year since one of the most tragic episodes of the intra-Ukrainian conflict - when neo-Nazis-Banderovites set on fire unarmed people in the Trade Unions House in Odessa."

Banderovites is a negative term for followers of Stepan Bandera - a nationalist leader in Western Ukraine in the 20th century who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

"As a result of that barbarous act of intimidation, several dozen people, whose only fault was that they openly voiced their civil position of non-acceptance of an anti-constitutional coup in Kiev in February 2014 and rampancy of radicals-ultranationalists in Ukraine, died," the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement said.

"We state with deep concern that a year since those events, the Ukrainian justice is not making any tangible steps to conduct an objective, independent and unbiased investigation of that horrible crime and bring those guilty to account."

"On the contrary, a clear course for spinning the process is felt. This is confirmed by a recent first report of the International Consultation Group on investigation of the Euromaidan events acting under the aegis of the Council of Europe," the ministry said.

"We believe such a situation is inadmissible. Impunity for such crimes and gross violations of human rights committed during the intra-Ukrainian conflict cause a horrific precedent," the statement said.

"We are calling on the international community, including human rights structures and NGOs, to decisively and honestly prompt the Ukrainian side to conduct a thorough, objective and unbiased investigation and bring those guilty to account, as well as to in general adopt real measures to remove egregious flaws in the Ukrainian justice system," it said.

"It would just be irrelevant to speak of adherence to democratic values and supremacy of law without that," the statement said.

"We not that the position of Ukrainian authorities’ patrons in the West and a whole lot of ‘free’ international media contributes to their carelessness and passiveness in that issue," the Russian ministry said.

"According to our observations, little attention was paid to the Odessa tragedy in May 2014 in Europe and North America. This is a regular element of an information war and media manipulation," it said.

Odessa tragedy

A total of 48 people died and over 200 were injured in the tragic events that happened in May in Odessa. A sign-up campaign in support of a referendum turned into clashes between nationalist activists of the Right Sector and the Maidan self-defense groups on the one side and federalization supporters on the other side. The clashes resulted in the local House of Trade Unions being set on fire. The investigation carried out by two parliamentary groups and law enforcers hasn't identified the perpetrators to date. The United Nations has classified as ‘inadequate’ the actions by the Ukrainian authorities to investigate last year’s murders in Kiev’s Independence Square and the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

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