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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs