Odessa riots trials may go on until the shift of power in Ukraine – human rights advocate

September 18, 2017 19:15
Фото: Кирилл Шевчук

Donetsk, Sep 18 – DAN. Investigation and trial on Odessa anti-Maidan rallies will go on until the shift of power in Ukraine, Odessa human rights advocate Kirill Shevchuk told DAN.

“Ukraine’s prosecution charged Evgeniy Mefyedov and Sergey Dolzhenkov, earlier acquitted in Odessa May 2 riots case, with new crimes. I believe, these trials can go on forever, until the criminal authorities of Ukraine are replaced with legitimate power,” he said.

The defendants, acquitted today in Odessa riots case, could barely quite the building as they were detained again and charged with crimes under Article 110 Ukraine’s Criminal Code “Violation of territorial integrity”.

Shevchuk said he believes the same awaits other three Russians – Maxim Sakautov, Vladislav Romanyuk and Sergey Korchinskiy.

“Prosecution thinks up new charges to keep these people imprisoned, for the benefit of radicals,” he explained.

On May 2, 2014 activists of the Pravyi Sector (Right Sector, a far-right Ukrainian nationalist political and paramilitary group of neofascist ideology) and the so-called Maidan Self-Defense burnt down camp of Anti-Maidan demonstrators outside the Trade Unions House, an Odessa landmark located on Kulikovo Field in the city center, where Odessa residents were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine federalization.

As the skirmishes broke out Anti-Maidan supporters took shelter in the Trade Unions House, which radicals surrounded and set on fire.

According to various sources, from 40 to 200 people died in the massacre, some from carbon monoxide poisoning, and others after leaping from windows to escape the flames, over 200 people were injured.

The perpetrators were never punished, while those affected found themselves on the wrong side of the bar. About 20 people were taken in custody suspected of organizing the incident, including Russia citizens.

Today the defendants were acquitted by the court of Chernomorsk (previously known as Ilyichevsk) which ruled that their fault has never been proved after three years of investigation and trial. *ot