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UN Cites Right Sector in Odessa, Says They Were Provoked, “Ended in Fire”

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 -- Of the UN's Navi Pillay and Ivan Simonovic report on Ukraine, much will be said. But what as released on the morning of May 16 has it said about the events of May 2 in Odessa?

63. On 2 May, a national unity rally gathered around 1,500 people, including many fans from the football clubs of Chornomorets Odesa and Metalist Kharkiv, as well as city residents. Among the crowd there were reportedly also some radical members of the Right Sector and Maidan self-defence unit armed with bats and metal sticks. Shortly after the rally began, the latter were provoked by approximately 300 well-organized and armed pro-federalism activists; the rally turning into a mass disorder, which lasted for several hours. As a result, four protesters in support of Ukraine were killed by gunshots (a fifth died later in the hospital from his injuries). Many were injured during the afternoon (mostly protesters supporting federalism). During the evening, violent clashes between the two sides continued on the main square (Kulikove polje), which ended in a fire a at the Trade Union building where protesters supporting federalism had taken refuge. As a result of the events, 46 people died of whom 30 (including 6 women) were trapped and unable to leave the burning building and 8 (including one woman) died from jumping out of the windows. In total, 38 died at the scene of the fire. At least 230 were injured.”

  While not attributing the setting of the fire which targeted “pro-federalism” activists, the UN report says that these “armed” pro-federalism activists “provoked” the Right Sector.

  Ivan Simonovic is in Ukraine, but will only go to Odessa AFTER today's report has been released. Inner City Press has previously reported on what OHCHR sources have said are Simonovic's moved to try to become Pillay's successor (there are other candidates; more on that soon).

  Now sources say with Eastern Europe in line to pick the successor to Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General, Simonovic may be vying for the UN's top post alongside Irina Bokova and others, including non Eastern Europeans Helen Clark of UNDP and Kevin Rudd of, well, Kevin Rudd, who'd like to compete with Kamel Morjane, long time associate of Ben Ali in Tunisia, to replace Lakhdar Brahimi on Syria.

  Ah, politics.

  Tellingly, when US Voice of America wrote up the UN report, here, it didn't even mention Odessa (or Odesa), citing only anti-government groups. There is legislation pending in the US Congress to confirm that Voice of America must follow the US line -- but isn't that already the case?

  In full disclosure, Voice of America along with UN Correspondents Association executive committee members from Reuters and Agence France Presse sought to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN,  as documented by Freedom of Information Act inquiries. Click here (VOA letter to current UN spokesman), here (AFP) and here for VOA about Reuters' support, here's Reuters bureau chief asking Google to ban from Search his “for the record” complaint to the UN against Inner City Press: censorship.

  As a human rights irony, these same and UNCA's executive committee set up a kangaroo court to prosecute Inner City Press for its reporting on Sri Lanka war criminals and conflicts of interest, here.

  Ah, human rights. Watch this site.


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