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6 May, 2014 22:11   ▪  

Acting Prosecutor General: Police helped separatists in Odesa on May 2

The police were de facto involved in the crimes committed by separatists in Odesa, Acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitsky says in an interview for Channel 5

“I have ordered an investigation on Deputy Prosecutor General [Mykola] Banchuk whose service has been suspended for the time of the investigation, and on employees of the Prosecutor’s Office in Odesa Oblast,” Makhnitsky said.   

The investigation has found that the Prosecutor’s Office had nothing to do with that. It found that the order [to help separatists in the violent clashes in Odesa on May 2 – Ed.] was given by the chief of Odesa city police department upon agreement with acting chief of the police in Odesa Oblast, Makhnitsky added.

“We can speak of not only inactivity [of the police during the clashes – Ed.] but of involvement,” he commented on the role of the local police in the May 2nd tragic events in Odesa.

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According to Makhnitsky, the bandits and the police wore red arm bands which point to their intention [to help separatists – Ed.]. Moreover, police officers defiantly dropped their shields during the storming of the police department [by separatists – Ed.] where detained separatists were held.  

“In this case, all components of a criminal violation are available,” Makhnitsky said, adding that the Prosecutor General has taken the case under control.

He did not comment on how the fire at the trade unions building in Odesa started, killing dozens of people. According to Makhnitsky, Molotov cocktails were thrown by separatists from the trade unions building. This could have caused the fire. Yet, the building could have been set on fire as a result of attacks by their opponents.  

International experts, including American ones, could be involved in the investigation, he noted.

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“Already today we can say that this was a planned event,” Makhnitsky commented on the May 2 developments in Odesa.

On May 2, a few thousand supporters of Ukraine’s unity and football fans gathered in downtown Odesa to march for the unity of Ukraine. Several hundred supporters of Anti-Maidan with bats and shields confronted them. A clash began.

Subsequently, unknown people burned down the Anti-Maidan tent town on Kulikovo Pole and set the Trade Unions building with separatists hiding inside on fire. According to Ihor Borshuliak, 46 people died in clashes and in the fire on that day in Odesa. Over 200 were delivered to hospitals, including 20 police officers. 

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