West turns blind eye to true causes of Odessa tragedy – Russian FM Sergei Lavrov

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Western countries remain indifferent to the causes of last week’s tragedy in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa that claimed dozens of lives, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. “Even though the West condemns the Odessa tragedy, it’s turning a blind eye to the true causes of it,” Lavrov said during the Council of Europe’s ministerial meeting in Vienna. The Russian foreign minister added that Western countries had concealed and justified actions aimed at the rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko under the guise of Ukrainian patriotism.

Those who organized the mob violence in Odessa, “who jeered at dead bodies” and gunned down people trying to escape from the burning building, “did’t hide that they were celebrating the victory over Russians,” Lavrov said. “We have witnessed a frank display of fascism. None of the radical nationalists who committed this terrible crime has been arrested” Lavrov said. “The Kiev authorities have vaguely expressed condolences, declared a mourning and opened an investigation. However, not many people will be surprised if this investigation gets ‘folded up’ as happened with the fatal sniper shooting in the Ukrainian capital in February,” the Russian foreign minister added.

He underlined that “such a fate was prepared for Crimea, but its multinational people with Russia’s support defended their future.” The clashes in Odessa broke out last Friday between pro-federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, joined by Euromaidan activists. Pro-Kiev radicals blockaded the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set it on fire. At least 46 people died, three went missing and 214 were injured in the Odessa clashes, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.

On Monday, a member of the Odessa regional council told RIA Novosti that Ukraine’s interim authorities were hiding from the public the true death toll in Friday’s tragedy in in Odessa, which actually claimed 116 lives. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the events a result of the “criminal irresponsibility of the Kiev leadership indulging insolent nationalist radicals, including Right Sector, who are staging a campaign of physical terror against supporters of federalization and real constitutional changes in Ukrainian society.”

Ukrainian army fighting side by side with neo-Nazis against own people – Lavrov

The West continues to ignore the fact that Ukrainian army is fighting, side by side with neo-Nazis against their own people, Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. Lavrov said that EU and US officials refuse to comment the fact that the Ukrainian army has received the order to fight against own people side by side with the neo-Nazis.

“In the midst of February Maidan confrontations in Kiev, Nato Defense Ministers and Secretary General stated the inadmissibility of intervention of the armed forces of Ukraine in the political process, and insisted on the neutrality of the army,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that Brussels and Washington continue to confirm the legitimacy of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ led by Kiev’s authorities explaining that the state has the monopoly on the use of armed forces. Russian Foreign Minister said that the events that have occurred in Odessa question the tolerability of neo-Nazis’ glorification.

“All the members of the Council of Europe must firmly stop the ultra-nationalists activities, and those who indulge the ideology and the practice of fascism cannot be justified, even if they were politicians enjoying the protection of the enlightened western democracies,” Lavrov said.

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