Toronto- On May 2, 2015, RCC hold a memorial meeting and service commemorating the first anniversary of Odessa Massacre in Ukraine. An Orthodox memorial service which followed the meeting, was performed by The Very Rev. Archpriest Vladimir Malchenko, Rector of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Toronto, ON.
This day one year ago, thousands of Odessa residents took it to the streets to voice their protest against the ultra-nationalistic junta who had seized the power in Kiev in the result of the military coup d’etat on February 23rd, 2014.
From the very moment the Kiev clique had come to power, it revealed to the full its dictatorial, neo-Nazi nature. Dissent was banned and persecuted. Ethnic Russians were declared “subhumans” and there were plans of their genocide either in the form of the forced “ukrainization” or the physical elimination. However, the civil society of Ukraine didn’t cross the line between a civilized state and a territory engulfed by the national slaughter.
And on May 2nd, 2014, the Ukrainian ultras, coordinated by neo-Nazi organization The Right Sector with the condoning and encouraging from the Kiev junta, literally pushed Ukraine into the burner of the civil war. Openly, in the view of hundreds of witnesses they committed a mass murder of the Odessa residents, who went out to a peaceful demonstration. The fascist militants attacked them with the baseball bats and other weapons, battering them without mercy. Badly injured were methodically beaten to death. Those who survived were chased to the Trade Unions House, where the demonstrators tried to hide from the attackers. However, it turned out to be a trap.
The Right Sector activists and ultras surrounded the building and hailed it with the Molotov cocktails. The multi-storey structure caught fire and shortly was engulfed in flames. Those who tried to leave the building were met with the merciless beating and firearm shots forcing them to go back. People jumped off the windows to their death; survivors were finished on the ground or dragged through the “corridor of shame.” Some were seeking protection on the roof top, but they were fired at by the snipers. The police and firemen were on site, but didn’t interfere. The fire and massacre were going on for several hours. The screaming, calls for help, moaning of the injured in the Trade Union House stopped.
According to the different estimates, on that day between 50 and 200 people were killed – men and women, children and seniors. The point of no return for Ukraine’s disintegration had been passed.
Shortly after this tragedy, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referenda and declared themselves independent republics, who didn’t accept the militant nationalism, neo-Nazism and russophobia of the Kiev junta. The latter waged against them a brutal, ruthless war until the complete destruction. The results of this so called “anti-terrorist operation” are, just as per the official records, over 6,000 killed, tens of thousands of wounded, up to a million or more of refugees and dispersed persons.
In February 2015, the Kiev regime and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics agreed to the ceasefire. However, this agreement is constantly violated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the militant ultra-nationalist groups. Moreover, those in power in Kiev don’t even hide that they are preparing for revanche. In their plans they are being pushed by the United States and NATO – the latter provide the regime with so called “help” in funds and the modern military equipment, dispatch troops, instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine. The Harper government alone has already given Kiev over a half billion dollars to continue the war and announced that it will send to Ukraine 200 servicemen of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Along with the preparations for the full-scale war, the Kiev regime has unleashed a campaign of terror against the dissent. Citizens of Ukraine get arrested and imprisoned on the slightest suspicion of disloyalty to the “new” authorities. Many simply disappear without a trace. The open opponents of the regime are murdered demonstratively. Tens of the prominent public activists and journalists have become targets of the political terror in Ukraine. From April 13 to 16 only, three people were killed –Sergei Sukhobok, a journalist; Oleg Kalashnikov, a Deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament; Oles’ Buzina, a writer and journalist.
Yes, we did gather today to honor the memory of those who died in the Odessa Massacre on May 2nd, 2014. Yet, we simply cannot forget the victims of the war waged by the Kiev regime against the peoples of Ukraine, the victims of the political terror and violence. And on this day of mourning,
We demand that the Kiev regime stop resorting to the military force against the peoples of Ukraine in this internal conflict. We also demand that all extreme right-wing, ultranationalist and neo-Nazi organizations in Ukraine be declared illegal and disbanded, their militant units be disarmed and those committed crimes against peaceful citizens of Ukraine be prosecuted.
We appeal to the European leaders, first of all of Germany and France, the whole European community to put pressure on the Poroshenko government and urge it to begin the all-Ukrainian national dialogue.
We demand that the United States and NATO stop interfering into the internal conflict in Ukraine.
We announce that we fundamentally disapprove the actions of the Harper government in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. Hence, we demand that Harper government
- cease any financial, material and military support to the Kiev regime,
- cancel its decision to dispatch Canadian Armed Forces to Ukraine,
- bring back all Canadian military personnel who are already in Ukraine.
Today’s ceasefire in Ukraine is extremely fragile. A smallest sparkle is enough to turn this conflict, still local, into the global one. Never before since the Cuban Missile Crisis has been our planet so close to the thermonuclear catastrophe. That’s why we appeal to all the people of good will to unite and do everything possible de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and avert the threat of the nuclear war. John Donne, an English poet of the Renaissance, in his poem “No Man is an Island” wrote, “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” And what we hear today is NOT just the bell toll, we hear the deafening tocsin!
And we say,
Remember the martyrs of the Odessa Massacre!
Remember the victims of the war, waged by the Kiev regime against the peoples of Ukraine!
Remember the assassinated political and public activists, journalists of Ukraine who raised their voices against the current Kiev regime and its policy leading Ukraine to the national catastrophe!
We’ll never forget. We’ll never forgive.