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Odessa tragedy ‘fascism in action’ - Lavrov

Published time: May 07, 2014 06:32
Edited time: May 07, 2014 08:10
People wait to be rescued on upper storeys at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. (Reuters / Yevgeny Volokin)

People wait to be rescued on upper storeys at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. (Reuters / Yevgeny Volokin)

What took place in Odessa on May 2 is "typical fascism" and "we will pursue the truth", Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said at a ceremony commemorating the fallen heroes of WWII at the Ministry on Wednesday.

Russia will not permit last Friday's events to be "swept under the rug", the foreign minister continued. In his view, all witness accounts point to how the scale of the tragedy has been greatly under-reported.

Lavrov went on to say that the upcoming Victory Day is a good occasion for Russians not only to remember their past, but to not forget that the country has a "duty not to allow fascism to spread throughout Europe and the world at large".

The Russian FM spoke about how, for some time now, Europe has been very selective in its judgment of such ideologies, sometimes simply "ignoring" telltale signs, some of which have included all-out marches commemorating the fighters of the SS.

After violent clashes between radical pro-Kiev activists and people wearing St. George ribbons commonly used by Ukrainian anti-government protesters, the radicals raided a nearby protester tent camp.

The camp was then allegedly torched and people residing there sought protection from their opponents in the local House of Trade Unions.

The radicals pelted the building with Molotov cocktails, starting a massive fire.

At least 46 people died inside as they suffocated from smoke or fell to their deaths trying to escape the blaze. Some of the survivors were beaten by the crowd of radicals surrounding the building.

Despite evidence of the apparent massacre, Western mainstream media coverage was ambiguous and often failed to mention facts incriminating the pro-Kiev forces.

Last Friday's events could be classed as "an act of terrorism", Ukraine's presidential candidate, MP Petr Poroshenko believes, after hearing evidence at a closed meeting of the Rada, which seems to suggest that some sort of poisonous substance was being used against the people barricaded inside the House of Trade Unions.

Another opinion regarding how the situation transpired was voiced by Ukraine's general prosecutor, Oleg Mahnitsky. He believes that the blaze could have been caused by either side; either Molotov cocktails thrown by the anti-Maidan group, or the pro-Kiev supporters setting the building on fire.

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