Odessa tragedy: “There was an inhuman horror,” the eyewitness says

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Translated by Alya Rea

After horrific tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014, Ukraine didn’t just turned
away from
the truth, but its authorities put behind the bars the undesirable eyewitnesses of the events
on Kulikovo Field, while the perpetrators of this massacre remain at large. But witnesses, even if they are currently sitting in jail,
do not want to remain silent – they are ready to testify at all the indictments and talk about what really happened on May 2, 2014. One of these people is Anatoly Lipovka,
who was thrown to the Odessa jail for his anti-Maydan position.
Anatoly and six more people were put on trial for “separatism,” or rather for what they were about to do after the May 2 – to travel to the Donbas to join the militia.

The prosecution doesn’t have any real evidence – it is all fabricated. Anatoly was
a direct participant in the Odessa tragedy. He entered the House of Trade Unions along with the rest of
the people, and later, when the ultras
(pro-Ukrainian football fans from Kharkov) had set the building doors on fire,
he was rescuing people. Miraculously, he had survived, while his friends, who also tried to help other people,
died a horrible death. We got in touch with Anatoly Lipovka on the phone – he
said that he cannot remain silent
and, as long as there is such an
opportunity, he has to tell what he had seen and experienced on that day.

“Everything in Ukraine is turned upside down. They [Ukrainians] themselves are shelling the cities, and then they claim that
it is the ‘terrorists’ from LPR [Lugansk People’s
Republic] or DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] who are doing it. They suppress the information about the events in the House of Trade Unions and state that there were special forces of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate [in Russian, it is
abbreviated as GRU]. What kind of GRU are they talking about?! They want to shift the guilt on
anyone but themselves. We cannot put up with such a lie,”
says Anatoly.

His name is on the prisoner exchange list that the Donetsk People’s Republic
submitted to Ukrainian side. And Anatoly Lipovka
hopes that this exchange (or an act of the goodwill, as it was done in DPR, by transferring the prisoners
to Ukraine) will take place, eventually.

“We helped people to get out of
this hell”

As is already known, when several thousand of so-called “Euro-Maydanites” (Anatoly
said that there were mostly the ultras,
as well as some representatives of the Right
Sector) reached the Kulikovo Field, they smashed and burned down the
campground of anti-Maydanites near the House of Trade Unions. The latter were in much fewer numbers – there were
only a few hundred people.

“They threw stones and
Molotov cocktails and they were shooting. There was a priest in one of the tents –
he was holding a
cross in his hands. They started to
chop his hand with an ax, the hand in which he held the cross,” says
Anatoly. And then the people
(they were ordinary civilians, the
Odessans who came to oppose the Maidan, and
also the activists of anti-Maydan movement, armed with the
sticks only) all panicked and ran to
hide in the House of Trade Unions.

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friends and I started to yell to people that they should run away and not enter
this building, because it is dangerous. But
some other anti-Maydanites, for example, Artem Davichenko, were shouting to the
contrary that they all should hide in the building. When
people went in there in mass – at least 500 persons, no less – Davichenko got
into the car and drove away. After
that the rest of our guys went into the building in order not to leave the
people behind. I
do not know whether there was an ill intent on Davichenko’s part, but perhaps
he was just in shock,” says Anatoly. And
then the attackers set fire to the entrance doors, the fire spread inside the
building, and the hell began.

As it was not
enough that they set fire in the building, they also used some gas, with a
sweet taste. Those
who inhaled the gas have not been able to stand up anymore. Anatoly
and his friends began to urgently take people out – through a side exit, and then
through the upper floors to the roof. “My
friend and I actually saved about 20 people,” says Lipovka. He
believes that there were many more people killed than the authorities say. “There were about 500
people who entered the building. How
could it happen that 40 people were killed when approximately 500 people went
in there and about 300-350 managed to get out?” He sounds perplexed. According to his
estimates, at least 130 people were killed that day.

“There was an
inhuman horror”

“There was a real fear and an inhuman
horror. Some people were killed by bullets, some burned, some others were shot from the bushes when they ran out of the building. One of the dead was found
with a bullet in the back. And
people were also finished
off in
the ‘passage of death’ [beaten by the clubs as
they tried to escape the fire]. And the city authorities
and the police stood quietly and looked at it!
They were in the know,” said Anatoly.

He recalls a woman who, because of the smoke, had nowhere to run.
She climbed out of the window and screamed, “Help!” And all she heard
back is shouting: “Glory to the
nation!” and “Death to the enemies!”
And then the woman fell out of the window to
her death. And soon after someone
posted a Ukrainian flag from that window. “I saw it
all from the side, when we got people on the roof,”
says our source.

He remembers his friend Alexei. “He helped
people to escape through the left side door. He
led seven people out. And people told him not to go back, let’s go to the
hospital, they said. But he refused, and
returned to save more people. However,
he didn’t come out. Later, he was
found on the floor with three bullet holes in his body. Also, he was nailed to the floor. How could these people do that? They
are no people …” By the way, there is not a word in the investigative
materials about what happened to Alexei and to the others. “Ukrainian
media reported that people were poisoned by carbon monoxide. They
didn’t show anyone with gunshot wounds,” says Lipovka.

“They did not expect this …”

Anatoly said that even the
attackers were surprised by how many people they had killed.
“They thought we were unarmed and scared and that we will run away. But people did not run away; the unarmed people
began to resist. This fanned their rage,”- says Lipovka.
And here is another important point.
Once the gas has
dissipated and the fire more or
less ceased, a group of people
in the light-gray uniform came to the building of the House of Trade Unions. “There were
about 20 of them. They did not speak
either in Russian or in English but in some Eastern European
language… Czech, maybe (here it is worth to recall some of the foreigners running around Odessa on May 2 with the strange jars). Several of them
had guns. I have not seen they
shot anyone. But they looked as some sort
of supervisors. Because all the ultras were
all very young –
17-20 years old. And
it was easy to organize them,” says Anatoly.

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