News / Europe

Ukraine Official: 32 Victims of Odessa Violence Possibly Poisoned

A man lays flowers inside the burnt-out Trade Unions Building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 4, 2014.
A man lays flowers inside the burnt-out Trade Unions Building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 4, 2014.
VOA News
A top Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said Monday that 32 pro-Russian protesters who perished in the Odessa trade union building that burned down during violence in the southern Ukrainian port city earlier this month may have been poisoned with chloroform.
 
Deputy Interior Minister Vitaliy Sakal, the ministry's chief investigator, said Monday that an investigative team had discovered chloroform in the burnt-out building.
 
Citing experts, Sakal said inhaling chloroform vapor obstructs breathing and that this was "what happened in our case." He said 32 victims died of suffocation and heart failure due to an "unidentified substance," not from the high temperature caused by the fire.  He said the chloroform had been in the union building for several days.
 
A total of 48 people were killed in Odessa on May 2 when violence between pro-Russian activists and supporters of Ukrainian unity culminated in the fire in the Trade Unions Building. Along with the 32 people who died inside the building, 10 died jumping out of the building's windows, and six were shot to death in street fighting.
 
Sakal said both sides in the May 2 melee hurled Molotov cocktails.
 
He said investigators are considering four possibilities: that the deaths were the result of an order to "extremist groups" to destabilize Ukraine; illegal activity by local security bodies aimed at discrediting the Kyiv government; "uncontrolled actions" by pro-Ukrainian soccer fans and pro-Russian groups; or a "provocation" by "radically-minded persons."
 
Sakal said 12 people have been arrested in connection with the incident and 22 are suspected of involvement.
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, accused the Ukrainian authorities Monday of trying to "hide the truth" about the Odessa violence.
 
He said he wanted see an investigation into reports that about 1,000 "militants" arrived in Odessa on the eve of the incident, including "suspected mercenaries from other countries" who were paid by "well-known characters." 

Lavrov said he also wanted investigators to probe reports that "the people died not from carbon monoxide, but from toxic chemicals and bullet wounds," and that many victims were killed after escaping the burning building.
 
The Russian foreign minister said he asked the United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to ensure that the investigation of the events in Odessa is conducted "in a transparent manner, under the auspices of international organizations."

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: StevenYun from: EU
May 21, 2014 8:27 AM
People who died in Odessa tragedy were outside the building. And when you are poisoned with chloroform you won't be capable to get out because chloroform affects the central nervous system so a man simply couldn't do anything to get out. But the killed people left the building that was set on fire by the Right Sector and they met their death outside when the Right Sector violently executed breathless people.

The Internet saw many pictures and videos of what nationalist bandits did in Odessa and I wonder why Ukraine's officials dare to tell us lies about what happen now in Ukraine. Atrocities, public executions, oppression of national minorities, murders – all is done by the Right Sector and condoned by Ukraine's government in Kiev. So why do we support these monsters?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid