A Total of 397 People Died at the House of Trade Unions

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

21st April, 2016


A writer from Odessa has counted all the dead at the House of Trade Unions on Kulikovo field

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Odessa historian and writer Alexey Ivakin, for the past two years, has been making inquiries into the dead and missing citizens who were participants of the clashes on May 2nd, 2014. Some died in the fire at the House of Trade Unions, some were shot or beaten with reinforced steel on the streets – Ivakin counted them all. There were 397 people, including those who rallied for Russia, and their opponents. Now the historian is preparing to publish a nonfiction book and a series of stories about those tragic events and the participants.

It should again be noted: among the dead in Odessa on May 2nd were pro-Russian activists from Kulikovo field, and their opponents – Ukrainian nationalists. Another significant caveat: some of the victims of the “Odessa grinder” died from beatings, wounds, and injuries sustained on May 2nd, but not on the day of the tragedy, but later, in the hospital. Dozens of volunteers from both sides of the conflict helped Alexei Ivakin count the victims. As a result, the statistics can be considered to be the most complete. However, the Ukrainian authorities have not yet officially reacted: most likely because no one wants to add fuel to the fire on the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy.

Among those killed were members of the “Right sector”, firefighters who tried to extinguish the fire on Kulikovo field, policemen from the Greek streets that hosted the clashes, security agency officials who worked in the House of Trade Unions, employees of the state emergency service of Ukraine who lead people away, bystanders, and activists of Russian-speaking organizations. Some of the victims have not been classified – name-surname and passport data is known, but “who” they fought is not clear.

Those hot on the trace of the Odessa tragedy repeatedly reported that the number of victims, in fact, was not 48, as was stated in the official statistics, but it is much more. Oleg Tsarev, the Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, spoke of more than one hundred victims. Deputy of the Odessa regional Council Vadim Savenko counted 116 victims from the confrontation. The Kiev newspaper “Segodnya” reported that the number of victims is “three times more than the figure presented in the official statistics”.

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