Sunday, May 3, 2015

Odessa Massacre Anniversary

By Stephen Wilson

A burning building in Odessa after an attack on the anti-
Maidan protesters.

(Moscow, Russia) - Workers who have been assigned to repair the burnt down 'House of Trade-unions' in Odessa, (the grim scene of a massacre of anti-fascists by neo-fascists from 'Right Sector ' and Maiden supporters) refuse to stay the night there. They have complained they have seen and heard ghosts. And lingering fear describes the tense atmosphere in Odessa where locals are almost always afraid to speak there mind. But it is not only ghosts which locals fear. A visitor told me that during the day fascist thugs patrol the parks asking in Ukrainian where a person is from. If they unwittingly answer in Russian they are either beaten up or forced to pay money. None of those fascists have been arrested for extorting money from locals. And after one year  not a single fascist has been arrested, charged and convicted of participating in the massacre of anti-fascists who fled for safety taking refuge in the House of Trade-unions in Odessa. The Ukrainian authorities have not carried out any proper investigation or pursued any of the culprits. This is despite a wealth of overwhelming evidence which should make the prosecution's case a piece of cake.

Instead of arresting the offenders, the victims are being rounded up and arrested!  It is seems clearly evident that the Ukrainian authorities are practically condoning if not colluding in fascist acts against opposition members.


In fact, this massacre happened precisely because the militia stood back and let it happen. According to some reports or rumours, the head of the police ordered his men  'not to intervene'.

Second City Teacher wrote an article on this event highly critical of the official version presented by the Ukrainian state. The authorities attempted to condone this attack by insinuating and later directly suggesting the anti-fascists provoked the fascists, fired shots at them from the building and were actually part of a so-called separatist movement. All this was and is nonsense. The facts are that this massacre was planned in advance by 'Right sector' and
extreme paramilitary soldiers. Indeed, one of the journalists,
Alexis, who narrowly escaped death by leaping from the burning building, informed me that he had seen rioters not just throwing molotov cocktails but carrying automatic weapons which they were using to shoot people either fleeing from the building or who were trapped in the building. The rioters even entered the building and shot victims straight on the forehead. One poor pregnant secretary who had been given some flowers was strangled to death with some cable or wire. This woman was not even part of the
demonstration. She just happened to be working in the office at the time. Alexis's colleague, Andrei Brazhevski, a journalist, died after he leapt from the building and was beaten to death by fascists waiting below.

Young children also appear to have been the victims of this attack and many are unaccounted for. This attack was not an accidental fire where most of the victims just died of suffocation from fumes. They died because attackers deliberately threw molotov cocktails into the building, shot and hacked to death many of the victims fleeing.

Most current newspaper reports state that 48 people died. However, Alexis stated that the death rate was much higher as he visited the morgue and counted many more bodies. It would not be an overstatement or exaggeration to state that maybe the death rate could have reached triple figures.


On the 2nd of May, the families and supporters in Crimea gathered to commemorate this senselessly brutal, callous and remorseless crime.

Candles representing each victim were lit before their displayed photos. Andy Plascik, who wrote about the Ukrainian anti-fascist trade-union movement, is seeking to make May the 2nd a day of International solidarity in defence of democracy and Internationalism against fascism. He and his supporters of different nationalities launched an appeal to organise protests, pickets and acts of remembrance around the World. To this effect he is embarking on a tour of the
United States. Well, he has our wholehearted support and if many people learnt what really happened at Odessa I'm certain they would sign a petition and campaign for the release of anti fascist political prisoners. The Ukrainian authorities might want to forget but we won't. On the contrary, we are going to remind them not just once a year, but constantly! Ghosts won't be the only spirits haunting them!

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