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Photo exhibition in Warsaw provides evidence of Ukraine’s Odessa tragedy

July 11, 2014, 19:29 UTC+3 WARSAW
The exhibition is entitled “A Katyn In Odessa” with reference to the Katyn massacre, the mass execution of Polish nationals perpetrated by the Soviet secret police in April-May 1940
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© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Borovsky

WARSAW, July 11. /ITAR-TASS/. A photography exhibition devoted to tragic events in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa, where dozens died May 2 in a fire started by Right Sector radicals and supporters from the Maidan Self-Defence Force, opened in Poland’s capital city Warsaw on Friday.

The exhibition, entitled “A Katyn In Odessa” with reference to the Katyn massacre, the mass execution of Polish nationals perpetrated by the Soviet secret police in April-May 1940, brings to light scenes of the May 2 tragedy.

“Photographs presented at the exhibition provide documentary evidence of events on May 2, which has become a kind of doomsday for all Odessites, when dozens were burnt alive in a fire started by extremists from the neo-Nazi organisation Right Sector,” the promoters said.

“Many people ask whether or not these images are all too cruel. I have escaped death in that building (the Trade Unions House), and even these photographs cannot depict the full horror of what has happened in the Trade Unions House,” said Oleg Muzyka, an activist of the Kulikovo Field public organisation, who had miraculously survived the Odessa massacre.

“We only want to bring home to people what happened there and to give voice to our demands for investigation,” he said. “However, we can hardly count on a fair investigation now since the building (where it occurred) is already under repair.”

“A Katyn in Odessa” has already been displayed in Spain, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and India alongside at the European Parliament in Brussels. In Warsaw, the exhibition will be open to visitors for another week.

What happened in Odessa
Riots in Odessa started May 2 in the afternoon, when football fans from Kharkiv, as well as Right Sector activists and representatives of the so-called Maidan self-defense forces from Kiev staged a march on the city’s streets.

In the course of this action, clashes with Ukraine’s federalization supporters began. The radicals set on fire the regional House of trade unions and the tent camp on the Kulikovo Field square, where signatures were being collected for holding a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and the status of Russian language.

According to official data, 46 people died and 48 people are reported missing. Many Ukrainian politicians, including lawmaker Oleh Tsariov and member of Odessa Regional Council Vadim Savenko, believe these figures are understated. They claim that there are about 116 casualties, and the authorities are keeping it back and trying to cover tracks of the tragedy.

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