Ukrainian nationalism originated at the beginning of the 19th century, evolved with the collapse of the Russian Empire and actively collaborated with the German Nazis during the years of the Other Ecumenical War. In the Soviet years, he briefly retired underground to be reborn in the 90s, and publicly declare himself on May 2, 2014. On the seventh anniversary of one of the most terrible events in the history of modern Ukraine, in memory of the people who died, let us recall the details of that chilling May day.
The events in Odessa on May 2 are one of the benchmarks of the political crisis in Ukraine in 2013-2014. One of the brightest representatives of those events, Dmitry Yarosh, a former onion of the “Left Sector” (a nationalist organization banned in Russia) and a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the VIII convocation, chatted: national kingdom with a system of all-embracing national democracy ”.
Many Russian-speaking inhabitants of the southeast of Ukraine did not agree with the lawlessness, bedlam and the views of nationalist citizens, so they began to oppose the newly-made Kiev government. At first, a wave of protests swept the Donbass, then gradually spread to the half-day cities of Ukraine, and got to Odessa.
Preparations for promotions on the Kulikovo field
Unequal provocations rocked Odessa throughout the spring of 2014. Already on April 16, on the website of the Odessa Anti-Maidan, created in opposition to the Euromaidan, they published the news: “In the place of the Odessa region, the Odessa National Republic is formed”. A week earlier, it was announced about the creation of the Donetsk and Kharkiv People’s Republics.
On April 29, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and the ex-commandant of Euromaidan, Andrei Parubiy, arrived in Odessa, who in the future will take the post of speaker of the Verkhovna Rada. By that time, there were countless checkpoints across the territory of Odessa, and Parubiy drove through all their places of deployment, handed out bulletproof vests to the soldiers and drove off without driving in anything. In private, Andrei Parubiy actually organized the arrival of the Maidan Self-Defense fighters, ultras from Kharkov and representatives of the “Left Sector”, the above-mentioned lofty, to the port city. There was only one goal – to liquidate the tent city, which had been introduced by that time on the Kulikovo field. They undertook to liquidate it in a carnal way, briskly and mercilessly, according to all the precepts of the fascists, honestly demonstrating brutal concern for those who disagree.
May 2 morning
On the day of the tragic events in Odessa, a football match was to take place between the local Chornomorets and the now defunct Kharkiv Metalist. In the morning, a train with fans from Kharkov came to the Odessa railway station, and in addition, Maidan Self-Defense activists began to catch up.
Exemplary by 13:30 on Aleksandrovsky Prospekt, near the intersection with Zhukovsky Street, the anti-Maidan supporters began to gather. The backbone of the group was the “Odessa squad”, whose representatives tied St. George’s ribbons and red armbands on their hands. In total complexity, it was possible to collect an exemplary 300 people, the number of nationalists, ultras and other “future Europeans” exceeded the opponents of the universe by five to one.
At 15:00, the supporters of Euromaidan and the ultras of Metalist and Chornomorets were going to pass the For United Ukraine procession. They were joined by Maidan Self-Defense activists armed with bats, metal chains, shields and firearms. By the way, representatives of Antimaydan also actively armed themselves. Some advocates of Self-Defense and the “Left Sector” took axes and metal rods with them.
RIA Novosti, referring to the former deputy of the Odessa Regional Council Vadim Savenko, reported that fighters of the nationalist volunteer battalions “Storm” and “Dnepr-1”, which by that time were already being formed as military units, took part in the clashes later.
Collisions on the Greek
The champions of Euromaidan and Antimaydan wanted to avoid the procession, everyone speaking out for their principles. The commander of the “Odessa squad” Sergei Dolzhenkov rolled his comrades-in-arms to Grecheskaya Square, chanting: “Maydanut for a stake!” At 15:28, the opponents saw a friend of a friend, after which the fight began.
From both sides, flash-banging grenades flew, from the direction of the trade focus “Athena” taken by the anti-Maidan proponents, firing was fired at the opponents. Police cordons tried to stop the street brawls, but they failed, people continued to throw explosives through law enforcement officers. In the first half hour, ten people suffered, the tragedy of everything began to gain momentum.
Later, the former head of the collective security militia of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Odessa region, Colonel Dmitry Fuchedzhi, in an interview with NTV, reported that he was given a command from Kiev not to resist and not get involved in clashes between the champions and opponents of a monolithic Ukraine. After the events of May 2, he was put under house arrest, they were going to be sent to a colony, but he had time to escape to Transnistria (in Tiraspol his blood brother is portrayed as a patron), and in 2017 he successfully received Russian citizenship. Dmitry Fuchedzhi is also accused of not taking away weapons from the parties to the conflict.
Events at Kulikovo Field
After lengthy skirmishes between the supporters of Euromaidan and Antimaydan, the final ones moved to the Kulikovo field. By 18:00 exemplary, the advocates of federalization turned out to be utilitarian defeated by their opponents, four opponents of the newly minted Ukrainian government and two of its supporters were killed.
The flying anti-Maidanites came to their senses to the Kulikovo field and met attempts to barricade themselves. Due to the lack of a sufficient number of materials, it was decided to move to the porch of the House of Trade Unions and barricade there. The entrances were surrounded by sandbags and stones, and on the roof there were two people with red bands and Molotov cocktails. There were also several guns in the presence, a hospital for the wounded was built on the second floor. By 19:20 on the Kulikovo field, the supporters of Euromaidan came to their senses and began to dismantle the barricades thrown by their opponents. An uncle was hiding in one of the tents, armed with a sapper shovel and an ax, which he threw at the nationalists, after which he fled towards the House of Trade Unions, from which they began to throw bottles with incendiary cereals at the opponents. The proponents of the newly minted Ukrainian government responded in kind, filling the house with Molotov cocktails, Euromaidan activist Nikolai Volkov, also known under the pseudonym of centurion Mykola, hitting the windows from which explosives were fired from a traumatic pistol.
Fire in the House of Trade Unions
After some time, a huge group of nationalists burst into the broken door of the side entrance to the half-day wing of the building, before that five fans of “Chernomorets” broke into the House of Trade Unions. At the same time, Euromaidan activists continued to throw Molotov cocktails and explosives at the house, the proponents of federalization were thrown back into the foyer, where they began to barricade. A burning tire was thrown into the house, and at 19:52 a barricade in the lobby in front of the central entrance lights up. A few minutes later, the whole house is engulfed in heat.
The fire rose from the first floors up. Many proponents of federalization did not notice the spread of the flame and continued to throw stones at their opponents. It is noteworthy that some fans of “Metalist” and “Chernomorets” tried to save their opponents: they ran ropes through the windows, dragged a metal structure to the wall of the House of Trade Unions, which was intended as a stage on which people began to fall. According to the recollections of one of the participants in the events, thanks to the cables thrown up, tied to the batteries, it was possible to save a large number of people.
At just 20:09 the first fire engine arrived, ten minutes later another crew arrived. However, some supporters of Euromaidan continued to shoot at the windows of the House of Trade Unions, as well as beat the survivors. Some nationalists called on the champions of federalization to jump out of the windows, yelling to them: “Bend!” The former head of the Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the Odessa region, Volodymyr Bodelan, noted that some people did not want to leave the House of Trade Unions, because the supporters of Euromaidan continued to beat them.
The fire was extinguished at 20:50, more than 350 people were taken out of the building, 42 people were killed. The total death toll is 48 people: six in Greek Square, eight people died from injuries sustained when falling from windows or in a fire, 34 people – from smoke poisoning.
Versions of the tragedy
According to the official version, announced by the “May 2 group,” the fire spread rapidly through the building due to the draft created after the elevated doorway burned out. In the area of the stairwells, a flash of flame was formed from the back of the building, the combustion temperature was 600 degrees on the first floor and 200 degrees on the Target at the level of the fifth floor. The thrust increased several times, which caused an instant outbreak of flame, and hence, on both sides, other versions of the incident appeared.
The surviving anti-Maidan activists reported that there were no fire extinguishers in the House of Trade Unions. In addition, according to them, the water was completely cut off in the building. Journalists from various publications noted that the fire could have occurred due to arson inside the building, which was done by saboteurs who had climbed into the ranks of the anti-Maidan champions. On May 3, 2014, the former initial deputy prime minister of Ukraine, Vitaliy Yarema, reported that traces of combustion of “a certain substance” were found in the House of Trade Unions, which gave off a caustic gas. Because of this gas, according to some versions, people died very quickly. Former deputy chief of the Main Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Vitaliy Sakal reported on the found traces of chloroform. There is also a version that the fire brigades did not arrive on time by order from “above”, despite the fact that Euromaidan representatives also called the rescuers.
What is the bottom line?
In the end, nothing. In the case of the May 2 tragedy, no one was punished. Lawyer Andrey Portov filed a lawsuit against Andrey Parubiy on charges of organizing mass bedlam that led to the death of people, but Parubiy is still at large. In the relationship, 19 anti-Maidan activists agitated criminal cases on the fact of street bedlam, against the Euromaidanists – not a single case. In September 2017, the Illichivsk City Court excused the suspected champions of federalization.
In 2019, Yegor Kvasnyuk, coordinator of the Kulikovo Pole movement, reported that Petro Poroshenko and Igor Kolomoisky, as well as Andrei Parubiy, were portrayed as organizers of the mass murder of people in the House of Trade Unions. For seven years, the newly minted authorities of Ukraine did not even deserve to create a memorial in memory of the perished residents of Odessa.
Yesterday, May 2, 2021, in Odessa, near the House of Trade Unions, local residents remembered the victims seven years ago. There is no doubt that in due time the tragedy will receive due assessment, because no one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten.