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Russian delegation to call on OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to assess Odessa tragedy

Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy noted that Europe has a selective sense of justice

MOSCOW, May 2. /TASS/. Russia’s delegation at the upcoming summer session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly on July 4-8 will call on European countries to assess the tragedy that occurred in Odessa on May 2, 2014, its head and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy told TASS.

"Five years ago, a series of cruel crimes swept across our neighboring and once fraternal country: people were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa and civilians of Donbass were destroyed by prohibited arms," the lawmaker said, stressing that no one has been brought to justice so far.

"The summer session of the OSCE PA is ahead. Together with our counterparts we will certainly raise this issue at the assembly’s platform, and no further silence can be allowed. The enlightened Europe should finally give its assessment to what has happened," he emphasized.

The lawmaker noted that Europe has a selective sense of justice. "While demanding the investigation into the killing of [journalist Pavel] Sheremet, they forget about the murder of [writer] Oles Buzina, while demanding to find those guilty of the failed Donbass military operation, they forget about the Odessa tragedy. There are plenty of such examples," he stressed. "There is such an impression that the crimes committed against Russian and Russian-speaking citizens are not considered as crimes."

According to the Russian delegation’s head, based on the events of the past five years a report may be compiled on violations against human rights, including crimes against humanity in Ukraine, genocide against its own people, discrimination against ethnic communities, ban on communication in native language and humanitarian blockade of millions of people. "We will speak about this at all international venues and continue doing our utmost to enable the world learn the truth," Tolstoy stressed.

On May 2, 2014, Ukrainian radical nationalists, including members of the Right Sector organization (outlawed in Russia) set fire to the House of Trade Unions in the city of Odessa, where protesters against the coup had found refuge. According to official estimates, the clashes killed 48 people, most of whom lost their lives in the House of Trade Unions tragedy, while 240 more people were reported to be injured in the inferno and its aftermath. At least 22 people were recognized as instigators, but exclusively anti-Maidan supporters were arrested. Five of them spent more than three and a half years in custody, but later were recognized as not guilty. Shortly after the verdict, Ukraine’s prosecutors and the Security Service brought new charges against two of them into separatism, and placed them under arrest. Later the prosecutors appealed the court’s acquittal.