We must not allow the Odessa Massacre to be forgotten, or the memories of the victims to fade away
This article originally appeared at The Blog Mire
Today marks the first anniversary of the massacre in Odessa, one of the most repugnant and shameful crimes committed in Europe since the defeat of Nazism in 1945.
The official narrative has it that 48 people lost their lives when the Trades Union building in the city was set on fire. In all probability the number was far higher.
How were these people killed? They were herded into the building by ultra nationalists from the Pravy Sektor who then set it on fire. And as those inside burned to death, those same ultra nationalists sang the Ukrainian national anthem and taunted them by likening them to Colorado beetles, chanting “Burn, Colorado, burn”.
Many of those who tried to escape did so by jumping from the burning building, only to be literally beaten to death by armed militias from the Pravy Sektor. There were even reports of a pregnant woman being raped and throttled before the fire took hold.
Much of it was filmed and is readily available on YouTube, if you can stomach it.
The Western media has been risible on its reporting of this atrocity. Either they have employed the passive voice when reporting on what happened — “48 people were killed” — never stating who did the killing. And worse still, some reporting has even managed to make it sound like the ones being burnt to death were responsible for their own demise, just as much of the reporting on the shelling of Donetsk and Luhansk has made it sound like the residents of those cities were shelling themselves.
Western governments have turned a blind eye to Odessa. Worse, they have continued to give unequivocal support to the government in Kiev that has singularly failed to investigate the crime, let alone bring anyone to justice for it. I don’t recall any Western government either condemning the barbarity or pressuring Kiev to investigate it, even though those same governments were remarkably quick to apportion blame and call for investigations in the cases of MH17 and the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
The leader of the Pravy Sektor is a man called Dmytro Yarosh. He is an unapologetic neo-Nazi. It was people from his organisation that were behind this ghastly crime. On his website he referred to the massacre as “another bright day in our national history.”
Yarosh is an MP in the Ukrainian Parliament. He has also just been made a special advisor to the Army Chief of Staff. He was appointed to this role by the government in Kiev — the same government that is being wholeheartedly supported by every major Western country and to whom the US, UK, Canada and Poland are now sending military aid.
One year on and I am still shocked and grieved by this horrible crime. And even more so by the reaction of the government of my country and the so-called enlightened West. By their reaction, I now understand more than I ever did before how Nazism could have taken hold in a “civilised” nation.
Truly this was a day of infamy when Nazism in all its sick ugliness reared its despicable head. Truly the reaction of the West has been utterly shameful.