Ukrainian rightists burn alive 39 at Odessa union building

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Some 1,000 Ukrainian rightists, led by the notorious Right Sector, surrounded, stormed, and burned the House of Trade Unions in Odessa last Friday, killing 39 pro-Russia demonstrators in the building.

On their way to attacking the union hall, which was occupied by anti-Kiev government demonstrators fearing for their lives, the rightists recruited members of a Ukrainian football club, the Chernomorets, according to numerous reports in the European press and on line.

Many of those who attacked and burned the building wore swastikas and other fascist insignias, according to observers. Eye witnesses said that the fascists were armed with bats, shields, and metal chains and that the people inside the union hall had run there for protection from them. After the attack by the rightists streets around the trade union headquarters were reportedly stained with the blood of those who had jumped from windows to escape the flames.

Women and children were reported to be among those burned alive after initial rounds of shots and Molotov cocktails were thrown into the building by the right wingers.

The right wingers who burned the union headquarters had already set another pro-Russian encampment in Odessa afire. That encampment consisted of rows of tents  in Odessa's Kulikova Field Square.

Police said that many of the victims at the House of Trade Unions had choked to death before burning up. The majority of the victims were found lying dead on the floors but some had jumped from windows, according to police.

As the union hall was engulfed in flames, photos posted on Twitter showed people hanging out of windows and sitting on windowsills where they appeared to be preparing to jump.

According to numerous reports those who jumped and survived were surrounded and beaten by right-wingers, including members of the football team.

The videos and photos showed Ukrainian riot police standing there doing nothing to stop or prevent the violence. The Ukrainian police said they could do nothing because they were "unarmed."

Right Sector has bragged about its role in the killings on line and on YouTube:

"At first we broke through the side, and then we came through the main entrance," said one pro-Kiev rightist who identified as a member of the group.

As the building burned some of the pro-Kiev activists said on Twitter that "Colorado beetles are being roasted up in Odessa," using a derogatory term for the St. George's ribbons worn by many of the anti-Kiev government demonstrators.

There were few official media outlets present, thus the heavy reliance on live streamed social media.

"The aim is to completely clear Odessa of pro-Russians," said Dmitry Rogovsky, another Right Sector activist whose hand was injured during the fighting.

Increasing violence by the rightists is a growing embarrassment to the U.S. and the European Union, which have backed the right wing coup in Kiev and have tried to pin the blame for Ukraine's troubles on Russia. Leading circles in those countries had hoped to use the coup government to force an IMF-designed austerity program on the Ukraine. If the right wingers continue to embarrass the West, however, U.S., EU and IMF plans for the Ukraine could go awry.

Photo: Trashed items are smoldering among debris following right-wing attacks in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2.  Sergei Poliakov/AP

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  • God, this is horrifying stuff going on in Ukraine right now.

    So far as Mr. Wojcik's analysis of the situation is concerned, I have to
    say I absolutely agree with it.

    I just hope this kind of information gets enough traction and
    circulation to undercut the new cold war and neocon thrust for civil
    war in Ukraine. Robert Parry over at Consortium News (a lot of his
    stuff has been republished on Alternet) has followed these events and
    thinks pretty much along the same lines

    But why on earth are we getting a foreign policy seemingly crafted by
    the likes of
    Romney and John McCain all of a sudden? Didn't those guys both lose
    their elections in a landslide?

    Posted by Dave Cunningham, 05/07/2014 8:04pm (8 months ago)

  • Over a hundred were burnt alive and those who survived were sent to prison. Not a single right sector activist (neo-nazi) has been apprehended so far. Hiding war crimes being committed by the puppet government in Kiev is only going to encourage such killings and massacres. If the only media acts responsibly and disseminates these facts, it would at-least get the US government to consider its hands and instigation for such massacres. Moreover, the puppet government in Kiev wants to gear the country towards Europe while they are scaring the bejeebers out of Europe with the rise of Ukraneain neo-nazis.

    Posted by Valduchi Mendoza, 05/07/2014 4:05pm (8 months ago)

  • Hello, Also the existence of EU is partly or in total a result of interventions, often violent , against people. Despite talkings about democtracy or human rghts, that is not what I noticed. The countries in central/east europe are unlucky occupied by western countries, and by NATO the usa helps with that process. After having been 10 years independent, those states got occupied, and got involved in bloody wars and delivered warcriminals again which was not happened after 1945 until that occupation.
    The violence of football is not new and I remember terrible ''accidents'' at footballstadions in Belgium and England. I notice within architecture that the responsible people had been asleep or agreed with fascism in 1975 and maybe with interfalls also thereafter. When facism is spread within governments and their surroundings it is also difficult to change their way of governing my country! But beside clear badness , I also notice a lack of knowledge and conciousness. Something like that also can play a role within left organisations! So we have to keep critical about ourselves, and try to stop hurting ways of living together.
    And that is not easy where governments often looks like criminal gangs themselves.
    I hope you and your friends can put pressure on mr. Obama to call the whole thing off in the Ukrain and central/ east europe. I can see that things like EU can be threat to USA as well.

    friendly greetings, José van Dijk

    Posted by Jose van Dijk, 05/07/2014 5:37am (8 months ago)

  • Interesting how the press coverage in the U.S. has changed. Now it is reported in the SF Chronicle via AP "The government in Kiev....seemed p[particularly alarmed by the bloodshed in Odessa. It had been largely peaceful until Friday, when clashes killed 46 people, many of them in a government building that was set on fire."
    This leaves the reader with the impression that pro-Ukraine people were killed because it was in a "Government building." No mention of who was in the building or who were the perpetrators of this murderous violence.
    The government is using this incident which murdered pro Russian demonstrators by right wing fascist thugs to deploy special forces (read snipers) to Odessa.
    The situation seems to be slowly creeping toard civil war and the West ( NATO) stands ready.

    Posted by lincoln smith, 05/06/2014 3:26pm (8 months ago)

  • - How the tragedy began: youtube(.)com/watch?v=uAEcceedzCU

    It is clearly seen that a mob attacked at first the tent-camp of the Pro-Russian activists and that the activists tried to escape into the building. Then the activist tried to barricade themselves in the building.

    Now to this statement of a Right Sector memeber:
    "At first we broke through the side, and then we came through the main entrance," said one pro-Kiev rightist who identified as a member of the group.

    WERE THE RIGHT SECTOR MEMBERS INSIDE THE BUILDING? And if yes: WHAT DID THE RIGHT SECTOR MEMBERS INSIDE OF THE BUILDING ???

    Posted by Stefan Bach, 05/05/2014 9:41pm (8 months ago)

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