Russian State Duma Officials Call for Tribunal To Try Kiev War Criminals

According to Itar-Tass, the Russian State Duma said the Kiev authorities were committing war crimes and therefore must face a military tribunal.

“I think this is an organized criminal group that has been acting like this since the very beginning, committing war crimes. For these atrocities they must be brought to justice as war criminals and they must be tried by an international military tribunal,” Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Duma Security Committee, said on Saturday, May 3.

Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov is convinced that there is no justification for what happened in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and Odessa in Ukraine. “It’s awful that the unleashing of civil war Ukraine is supported by the West that in no time has forgotten human rights and democratic values, of which EU countries and the United States claimed to be the advocates. Now no one has any doubt as to who is sponsoring unrests in Ukraine and who sponsored them from the start,” he said.

“I do hope quite sincerely that last night’s tragedy [in Odessa] will make those who support the illegitimate and criminal regime come to their senses although the chances of that are waning, judging from the reaction of Western politicians,” Neverov said. “Instead of defending peaceful citizens of Ukraine, they are blocking Russian proposals in the UN Security Council, which are aimed at peaceful resolution of the issue. The West is conniving at the Ukrainian radicals and Nazi whose ideology is extermination. Apparently Europe has learnt no bitter lessons from last century.”

Frants Klintsevich, deputy chair of the Duma Defense Committee, drew historical parallels with the current events in Ukraine. “The European Union and America refuse to understand the explosive situation in Ukraine and do not want to figure out what is good and what is bad, because they simply can’t benefit from that. They want a civil war,” he said.

Klintsevich recalled that during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, SS battalions, manned with Ukrainian nationalists, and commanded by fascists, destroyed the village of Khatyn in Belarus, burning the elderly, women and children alive. “Practically 70 years on, the descendants of those fascists did the same. They blocked people inside the Trade Union House [in Odessa] and set it on fire,” he said.

“Why does Europe support such atrocities?” the MP asked. He stressed that “all opposition parties in enlightened Europe and the whole world must know what present-day fascists did in Odessa.”

Chairman Leonid Slutsky of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots said the May 2 bloodbath in Odessa on completely destroys the Geneva Accords and incites a civil war in Ukraine. “What happened, especially the fire in the Trade Union House, reminds me of the Nazi crimes during World War II. This is a new Khatyn and Auschwitz,” he said.

German Politicians Denounce Odessa Atrocity

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who just at the beginning of this week spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg about Russian assistance to secure the release of the military verifiers team from their arrest in Slavyansk, strongly denounced the Right Sektor atrocity which killed 31 civilians [later updated to 46] in Odessa, Friday night. Schröder said that de-escalation is more urgent than ever, after “this horrible thing in Odessa,” confirming that the Russian side has contributed to calming the situation, by Putin’s envoy Vladimir Lukin arranging their release indeed, Saturday morning. Schröder said it is an “important step toward de-escalation.”

Also German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier denounced the Odessa atrocity, at the same time as he welcomed the Russian-arranged release of the verifiers team in Slavyansk. Steinmeier said he was “shocked” at the news from Odessa, saying it was definitely a “wake-up call” for de-escalation and diplomacy.

The seven observers of a NATO military verification team, as well as five Ukrainian officers taken with them, were freed yesterday morning. Russia’s RIA Novosti quoted Putin’s special envoy, Vladimir Lukin, to negotiate and escort their release, as saying: “All 12 people who were on my list have been released.” AP reported that one of its reporters onsite personally witnessed the commander of the verifiers team, German Colonel Schneider, and his Ukrainian translator walk free.

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