The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement today denouncing the blackout in the western press. “While Ukrainian punitive squads [a term referring to the Nazis’ killing of civilians during World War II in Russia –ed] are carrying out their operations in east Ukraine,” the statement says, “conducting sweeps in some settlements and blocking some others, the West has actually imposed an information blockade on tragic events taking place in that country. It is quite illustrative that even in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) no one is aware that the blood is being shed in Ukraine and troops are shooting at unarmed people.”
The deputy director of the Foreign Ministry’s press department, Maria Zakharova, sent letters to journalists from Reuters, Bloomberg, the New York Times and other media outlets, begging them to cover the events in Ukraine objectively. “Your influence can help to stop Ukraine from bloody collapse or bring the world to the new hell. Do not follow propaganda, blaming Russia for everything,” Zakharova said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with John Kerry on Saturday, calling on the U.S. “to exert its influence over the Kiev regime that it patronizes and that declared war against its own people, to stop military actions in southwestern regions immediately,” according to the Moscow Times.
Meanwhile the Russian press reports the following from their correspondents in Ukraine:
* Fighting continued at several sites on Saturday and Sunday, with as many as ten killed, according to ITAR TASS, which also reports that “Forces in the east of Ukraine fighting for the federalization of the country have regained control over the cities and townships of Konstantinovka, Slavyansk, Andreyevka, and Kramatorsk,” and that Ukrainian military had to pull back to the area of Kramatorsk airdrome.
* Russian TV interviewed half a dozen survivors of the attacks at the Slavyansk checkpoints, telling how people were shot down as they tried to flee into the fields.
* Despite the fighting across the region, Itar-Tass reports that “the city of Donetsk itself is peaceful and getting ready for a referendum on the region’s status, one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin told Itar-Tass over the phone. `We’ve been preparing for the May 11 referendum,’ he said. `We are setting up election committees, printing ballots etc.’ The ballots will only have one question to be answered yes or no: Do you support the act on independence of the Donetsk republic?”
– Reports of the Odessa Massacre –
* Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, issued a statement to ITAR-TASS after the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said the Odessa fire was started by the protesters inside. Kadyrov said: “This was cutting-edge cynicism and some kind of over-the-top impudence. There is video available showing some people pouring gasoline inside of bottles. After that, radical youngsters were throwing these bottles at the building, ground floors were set ablaze and people were trying to save their lives by jumping out the windows. However, we and the whole world were eventually told that the fire erupted on the upper floors. Not even fascists acted like this. First, to burn people alive by blocking all entrances and setting them on fire, and then to tell the whole world that it was the people inside the building, who hurled bottles with flammable substance at each other.” He also expressed shock at another video which showed Right Sector killers touring the Trade Union House after the fire, inspecting dead bodies and making jokes.
* Victoria Nuland’s boy Arseniy Yatsenyuk went to Odessa today, and declared Russia to blame, not the nazis, for the slaughter. Yatsenyuk said police were being investigated for their failure to maintain order, and that he had charged prosecutors with “finding all instigators, all organizers and all those that under Russian leadership who began a deadly attack on Ukraine and Odessa.”
* The 67 anti-Kiev demonstrators who were detained after the massacre were released today when several hundred citizens stormed the police station and forced their release. While none of the Right Sector killers appears to be under arrest, the protesters were charged with creating mass disorder and threats or violence against law enforcement.
* A video has gone viral on YouTube (and on RT) showing a man wearing a bullet-proof vest shooting several rounds at the windows of Odessa’s burning House of Trade Unions Friday, then speaking to some reporter on his cell phone saying that he and his people are unarmed, while having to confront armed anti-government protesters. The man introduces himself as sotnik Mykola (sotnik is what Maidan group leaders in Kiev call themselves). He also says he was wounded in the leg by protesters, although he doesn’t look hurt in the footage.
* A survivor from the Trade Union building slaughter told RT: “We couldn’t go down, we were seeing people from other floors being brought down and then those rioters down there attacked them like a pack of wolves.” Afraid of falling into the hands of nazis, people didn’t leave the building where dozens were eventually burnt alive, suffocated, or jumped out of windows.
* Svoboda MP Iryna Farion tweeted, “Bravo, Odessa!” Lesya Orobets, Batkivshchyna Party candidate for Mayor of Kiev, made a Facebook post about “stamping out a swarm of Colorado beetles” in this “great victory.” These fascists are now referring to the pro-federalization people in eastern Ukraine as insects! “Colorado beetles” because of their orange and black stripes, like the St. George’s Ribbon.
* RT also reviews the western media, noting that despite extensive live video coverage of the entire Odessa massacre by Right Sector, the mainstream western press “were trying to avoid assigning the blame to those who actually set the building on fire,” giving many examples.