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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid