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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

We will not forget the barbaric fascist crime in Odessa!

by Theo Russell

ON 2nd May, 2014 a barbarous crime took place in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, committed by a fascist mob who were emboldened by the violent coup 10 weeks earlier – a coup which was enthusiastically supported by US and European Union (EU) leaders, and welcomed by the UK government.

At least 46 anti-fascist protesters died, and over 200 were injured, when the Odessa Trade Unions House was surrounded and fire-bombed by a mob composed of members and supporters of the many explicitly fascist Ukrainian organisations.

Many believe the actual number murdered was far higher but after six years no investigation whatsoever has been carried out. According to the Stalkerzone blog as many as 300 people died on that day.

The February 2014 coup was spearheaded by the openly fascist Right Sector armed militia and the far-right, openly anti-Semitic Svoboda Party. Victoria Nuland, US Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, famously admitted in a talk to eager American business representatives that her government had spent five billion dollars to subvert the elected Victor Yanukovich-led government.

In response to this coup protests and uprisings took place across the predominantly Russian-speaking cities of southern and eastern Ukraine, shocked by the rise to power of fascist parties, armed fascist militias, and the sight of Nazi thugs and football hooligans looting and burning trade union and communist party offices.

They rightly feared that the fascist bands were preparing to descend on their cities and towns to crush any resistance, and to impose their reactionary, racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-Roma and anti-Russian views on them.

This movement was known as the ‘anti-Maidan’, and in Odessa an anti-fascist protest camp was set up in Kulikovo Field, one of the city’s largest squares outside the main railway station.

Unfortunately the fascist and ‘ultra’ football hooligan mob was swelled by allies coming from Kiev and other western Ukrainian cities, who attacked and firebombed the protest camp, forcing the protestors to retreat to the Odessa Trade Unions House, where they were surrounded.

The mob then petrol bombed the building and held firefighters back, whilst the police stood idly by. Any protesters trying to escape were beaten, and many murdered, by the mob. This was deliberate mass murder in one of Ukraine largest and most beautiful cities.

There is abundant evidence of the massacre and of the perpetrators involved, and detailed documentaries have been made in France and Germany, but the puppet government in Ukraine, aided by a silent western mass media, has swept the event under the carpet, hoping the world will forget it ever happened.

There have been several international investigations, including one by the European Council which severely criticised the Ukraine government’s failure to prosecute anyone for these crimes.

Even the US State Department made a statement in 2015 that supported calls for an investigation and prosecutions, and condemned the intimidation of relatives campaigning for justice.

But in practice, the EU politicians failed to follow up their token judicial report with any real pressure and the State Department statement was merely a token gesture, a handy reply for journalists asking questions about the massacre.

But the citizens of Odessa have not forgotten. For six years the Council of Mothers of 2nd May has campaigned for justice, and citizens still rally and lay flowers in front of the Trade Unions House every year on 2nd May.

It is virtually impossible to get news on the treatment of anti-fascists in Ukraine but an American campaigner who visited Odessa two years ago was told that several members of the Council of Mothers have been harassed, and some framed and jailed by the Ukraine’s Security Service, the infamous SBU, which has eagerly carried out the orders of the fascist-infested Kiev regime.

The president of the Council of Mothers, Victoria Machulko, has been raided by the SBU several times and was detained whilst memorials to mark the massacre have taken place.Alexander Kushnaryov, the 65-year-old father one of the victims, Gennady Kushnaryov, and retired military officer Anatoly Slobodyanik, 68, were fitted up in an SBU sting operation and are now in prison, whereas those who carried out the massacre have not even had charges laid against them.

Under the present regime in Ukraine, which enjoys the support of the USA, EU and Britain, there is no democracy and all opposition to the regime has been silenced.

Trade union offices have been ransacked and burned, Holocaust memorials have been repeatedly vandalised, the largest opposition party, the Communist Party of Ukraine, has been banned, communists, socialists, Jewish and gay people have been attacked by fascist gangs, and members of the judiciary have been threatened and intimidated.

Even moderate newspapers and TV stations have been raided or closed down, and journalists have been assassinated, even recently in the centre of Kiev. Thousands have been prosecuted, jailed or driven into exile for allegedly supporting ‘separatism’, meaning opposition to the war in the East.

A quick internet search will produce copious, detailed evidence of all these crimes – just google ‘attacks on Roma camps in Ukraine’, for example, yet the editors of western media outlets don’t regard such events as important enough for daily prime-time news.

The British government actively supported the ‘Euromaidan’ movement, and the then foreign secretary William Hague told parliament that the 2014 coup, which saw openly fascist, Nazi-admiring parties become part of the government and the entire state structure, was in fact a legal change of government.

The UK has sent 75 Army trainers to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and sponsored ‘educational’ activities aimed at sanitising Second World War Ukrainian fascist leaders who collaborated with Nazi Germany in the genocide of 5–7 million people, a quarter of Ukraine’s population, including 1.5 million Jews, and the deportation of two million people to Germany.

The New Communist Party calls for justice for the victims and families of the Odessa Trade Unions House massacre, and for all those who took part in the murders to face trial.

We also call for the release of Alexander Kushnaryov and Anatoly Slobodyanik, and an end to the harassment of relatives of the victims of the massacre.

We believe the day will come when justice will be done, when the whole world will be aware of the barbaric crime six years ago, and new new, free and democratic Ukraine will be realised.

We will not forget this fascist crime and we look forward to the day when 2nd May is commemorated around the world!