Foreign Ministry statement on the anniversary of the 2 May 2014 events in Odessa

Submitted on Thu, 04/30/2015 - 22:00

The first anniversary of one of the most tragic episodes in Ukraine’s internal conflict is marked on May 2. On this date, neo-Nazi Banderites burned unarmed people in the Trade Unions House in Odessa. This barbarous act of intimidation claimed several dozen lives of people whose only guilt was their open declaration of their civil position in rejecting the anti-constitutional coup d’état carried out in Kiev in February 2014 and the rampage of ultranationalist radicals in Ukraine.

It is with great concern that we note that as one year passed, Ukrainian justice does not demonstrate any perceivable steps towards a comprehensive, independent and unbiased investigation in this horrendous crime and towards bringing to account those guilty. On the contrary, a distinct line is perceptible on dragging out the process. This is also confirmed by the first report of the International Consultative Group for investigating the Euromaidan events, which acts under the auspices of the Council of Europe.

We note that the “carelessness” and passivity of the Ukrainian authorities is encouraged by their patrons in the West and a wide range of “free” international media. Thus, according to our observations, the May 2014 tragedy in Odessa has been given a paltry amount of attention in Europe and North America. This is yet another element of the information war and media manipulation.

We regard this situation as unacceptable. Impunity for such crimes and gross violations of human rights committed in the course of the internal Ukrainian conflict gives rise to a horrendous precedent. We call on the international community, including human rights protection agencies and NGOs, to resolutely and openly demand from the Ukrainian side a careful, objective and impartial investigation, and to bring the culprits to justice, as well as to take real measures in order to eliminate the outrageous faults in the Ukrainian justice system. Otherwise it would be simply inappropriate to speak about commitments to democratic values and the primacy of law.