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Odessa citizens gathering to pay tribute to 2014 massacre’s victims

On Thursday, various memorial events will take place in the city, and nationalist forces will hold a traditional march

KIEV, May 2. /TASS/. Citizens of Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa are gathering on Kulikovo Field Square carrying flowers and photos to pay tribute to those killed in the tragedy five years ago.

On Thursday, various memorial events will take place in the city, and nationalist forces will hold a traditional march.

Since this morning, the citizens of Odessa have been coming to the Trade Union House in front of Kulikovo Field Square, where on May 2, 2014 48 people died and more than 240 others were wounded in riots. At 4 p.m. local time a mourning rally will be held, and at 7 p.m. a prayer service for the victims will take place.

The mayor’s office has announced that traffic in the city would be blocked to ensure public security and order. Some 2,400 police officers will be on alert, and canine teams, bomb disposal experts and personnel of Ukraine’s Security Services will be also working at the scene.

Police are calling on the citizens to abstain from unauthorized public and political events and not to violate public order or provoke conflicts, and "be patient and tolerant to each other."

Director of Ukraine’s Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection Elena Berezhnaya said that the entire Ukraine is in mourning together with Odessa. "Five years of pain and sufferings," she said commenting on the anniversary of the tragedy. In his turn, MP from Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For Life party Nikolai Skorik said so far no memorial for the tragedy’s victims has been installed in Odessa.

Political council chief of the Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk believes that finally the opposition forces will manage to ensure a fair and honest investigation into the Odessa tragedy, although the Ukrainian authorities are not interested in this. "Over the past years the regime backed by ultra-patriots and radicals of all stripes has not found it necessary to remember about this awful tragedy," he stressed. The relatives of those killed did not hear any words of support and condolences from the authorities and did not see their desire to carry out an unbiased investigation, find and punish those guilty, he noted.

On May 2, 2014, Ukrainian radical nationalists, including members of the Right Sector organization (outlawed in Russia) set fire to the Trade Union House 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 Trade Union House 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.