REPORT 2022: Events held on May 2 to mark the Odessa Massacre of 2014

Introduction:

On May 2, 2014, just a few months after the U.S.-backed right-wing coup that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine, a large mob led by openly fascist organizations murdered at least 42 people in the Black Sea port city of Odessa. This is what has come to be known as the Odessa Massacre.

After the coup, the victims had been petitioning for the right to elect their local governors, instead of having them appointed by the federal government, which was now hostile to the Russian ethnic minority in the country. The mob drove the petitioners into the five-story House of Trade Unions on Kulikovo square and set it on fire. Some of the victims died from the flames, some from the smoke, others from jumping from the windows and then being beaten- to death when they hit the ground. 

To date, not one of the perpetrators has ever been punished for their crimes, and the Ukrainian government has never allowed an international investigation into the massacre. 

The Odessa Solidarity Campaign was founded after three U.S. peace activists – Phil Wilayto, Bruce Gagnon and Regis Tremblay – returned from attending the second annual memorial held at the site of the massacre. The three were responding to an appeal by the Council of Mothers of May 2, an organization of relatives of the victims, to come to Odessa as International Observers because several fascist organizations were threatening to attack the memorial.

Ever since, the OSC has called for local events on May 2 to honor the victims of the massacre and support the demand by the victims’ families for an international investigation. This year’s actions were especially important because they drew attention to the existence of the fascist movement in Ukraine, which has only grown since the 2014 coup. Allusions to this fascist movement are routinely dismissed by the U.S. government and mass media as Russian propaganda, but we have seen this movement with our own eyes and have been following and reporting on it since 2016.

This year the OSC worked with two other organizations – the Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners in Exile and the Coop Antiwar Cafe of Berlin – to promote activities around May 2. The three organizations jointly issued a May 2 Appeal for International Solidarity with the People of Odessa that called on organizations around the world to hold local events to mark the Odessa Massacre. 

They also released an educational webinar about the massacre and the war in Ukraine.

Following is a report on the 2022 solidarity actions.

NOTE: If your organization held an activity on May 2 and it’s not listed here, please send the information to: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

————————————–

May 2, 2014, Odessa, Ukraine: A fascist-led mob sets fire to the House of Trade Unions in Kulikovo square, killing at least 42 progressives, just months after the right-wing coup.

ODESSA, UKRAINE

Ever since the Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014, the antifascist people of Odessa have held memorials at the site of the killings, including major gatherings each year on the actual anniversary. This year, the head of the Regional Military Administration imposed a curfew from the evening before May 2 until the morning after. No one was allowed on the streets. Public transportation was shut down. Meanwhile, many people thought to be insufficiently loyal to the right-wing government were arrested and charged with subversive activity, part of a wave of repression that has been sweeping the country. The general repression began with the Russian intervention on Feb. 24, but has since spread widely, with many thousands now charged with subversive activity, often for merely expressing opinions critical of the government on blogs and social media

Members and friends of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign hold a vigil outside the federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – USA

On May 2, the Odessa Solidarity Campaign held a vigil outside the federal courthouse in downtown Richmond. The OSC is sponsored by the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, which publishes the quarterly newspaper The Virginia Defender, which in its last two issues has carried major articles opposing the U.S. position in Ukraine. The 18-year-old newspaper has a statewide circulation of 15,000. 

In addition to the webinar mentioned above, OSC coordinator Phil Wilayto presented on a webinar organized by the International Action Center and was interviewed several times by the Russian news outlet Sputnik International, with some of the interviews picked up by major news outlets in India, South Africa, Venezuela and Lebanon. (See WEBINARS and INTERVIEWS below.) 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – USA

On May 2, the New York-based International Action Center broadcast an educational webinar on May 2 and the war in Ukraine. “Reckoning with the Ukraine Government’s Armed Nazi Militias.” The presenters were Leonid Ilderkin, member of the coordination council of the Union of Political Refugees and Political Prisoners of Ukraine; Phil Wilayto, OSC coordinator; Alexey, a survivor of the Odessa House of Trade Unions massacre currently living in Luhansk; and Sara Flounders and Teddie Kelly of the International Action Center.

Socialist Unity Party members and friends hold a May 2 memorial in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – USA

Baltimore solidarity activists held a memorial next to the Harriet Tubman Solidarity Center, reading the names of those who died in the Odessa Massacre, mounting a memorial on a fence and performing a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “All You Fascists Bound to Lose.” The commemoration was initiated by the Baltimore Socialist Unity Party.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – USA

The Socialist Unity Party’s John Parker, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Los Angeles, Calif., traveled on a fact-finding mission to the People’s Republic of Luhansk in the Donbass and later participated in a ceremony May 2 at the Odessa Memorial in Moscow. The SUP also produced a webinar, “Voices from Donbass – Stop the War Lies.”

Members of The Fire This TIme Movement for Social Justice show solidarity from Vancouver, Canada.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice carried out a social media campaign to educate the public about May 2.

Hundreds of people march to the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow to commemorate the Odessa Massacre victims.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

The Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine helped organize a procession to the Ukrainian Embassy. Local people carried posters, photographs and flowers to honor the memory of those killed at the House of Trade Unions in 2014. Video HERE.

For the eighth year in a row, leftists in Penza, Russia, hold a May 2 solidarity event.

PENZA, RUSSIA

A memorial was held in the provincial capital of Prenza. Activists with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Left Front and the Leninist Communist Youth Union laid flowers at the monument to the Fighters of the Revolution on Sovetskaya Square in memory of all those who died in the Odessa House of Trade Unions in 2014. This is the eighth consecutive year in which similar memorials have been held in Penza by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the Left Front. See a detailed report HERE

In an action called by the Coop Antiwar Cafe, activists gather near the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to remember the Odessa Massacre.

BERLIN, GERMANY

Despite harassment from provocateurs and the police, the Coop Antiwar Cafe sponsored two May 2 events in Berlin. The first, near the Ukrainian embassy, was shut down by police because some of the images of Ukrainian neo-Nazis that were displayed included their fascist symbols, which are banned in Germany. The second event was held at Pariser Platz by the Brandenburg Gate in front of the U.S. Embassy, where there were some provocateurs. Despite the opposition, the organizers read the appeal for international actions on May 2 that was issued by the Antiwar Cafe, Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine and the OSC. There also were remarks by the chair of the German Communist Party.

Online report: https://cooptv.wordpress.com/2022/04/30/massacre-in-ukraine-memory-of-odessa/

VIDEOS:

Protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate:

https://youtu.be/d12T97D_aO0 )

Gedenken an das Progrom in Odessa 2014 – Berlin 2. Mai 2022 (Video/Images) | CO-OP NEWS

Also from the Coop Antiwar Cafe:

A translation of the speech from Liane Kilinc, chair of the association “Friedensbrücke-Kriegsopferhilfe eV“

ITALY

One national and three regional Italian television stations broadcast a documentary on the Odessa massacre. This was part of “Forbidden Peace,” a special event also broadcast on these stations, in which actors, journalists, writers, philosophers, poets and citizens united to say what is really happening in Ukraine, pointing out the responsibilities of the United States, Europe and NATO.

ROME, ITALY

No details yet, but we have been told an action took place.

TURKEY

A leftist organization posted an online report on the Odessa Massacre.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

A group of Turkish communist emigrants held an activity.

SPAIN

The Galician Committee of Support to Donbass carried out a social media campaign to remind the public about the Odessa Massacre and other attacks that have taken place since. “Go ahead with denazification! Long live Donbass and anti-fascist Ukraine!”

————————————————————————————

RESOURCES

WEBINARS

On May 2, for a World Free from War & Fascism: A Webinar on the Day of International Solidarity with the People of Odessa! – by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign; Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine; and Coop Antiwar Cafe of Berlin. Presenters: Leonid Dezhnev, Union of Political Emigrants; Heinrich Buecker, Coop Antiwar Cafe; and Phil Wilayto, OSC. 

Reckoning with Ukraine’s Armed Nazi Militias – by the International Action Center. Presenters: Leonid Ilderkin, member of the coordination council of the Union of Political Refugees and Political Prisoners of Ukraine; Phil Wilayto, coordinator of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign; Alexey, a survivor of the Odessa House of Trade Unions massacre currently living in Luhansk; and Sara Flounders and Teddie Kelly of the International Action Center.

Voices from Donbass – Stop the War Lies

March 27, 2022 – Socialist Unity Party 

ARTICLES

Russia, Ukraine & the U.S. – The background they’re not telling you – from Winter 2022 edition of The Virginia Defender (written before the invasion)

Statement on the Present Crisis in Ukraine – Issued jointly by The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; Odessa Solidarity Campaign; and The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice (written four days after the invasion)

Political Repression in Ukraine – by Phil Wilayto for The Virginia Defender – March 28, 2022. The U.S. media is full of stories about what it calls political repression in other countries, but is strangely silent when it comes to Ukraine.

INTERVIEWS

Finland, Sweden Applications for NATO Membership Add to Regional Instability – US Activist – Virginia Defender editor Phil Wilayto on what it means for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. This interview was with the Russian news outlet Sputnik International, which is now banned from broadcasting in Europe. However, the interview was carried by several other large media outlets, including  United News of India, that country’s second-largest news agency, and Independent Online (IOL), a major news and information website based in South Africa.

Remembering the 2014 Attack on Odessa – Odessa Solidarity Campaign coordinator Phil Wilayto on the online program “By Any Means Necessary” with Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon (April 23, 2022).

Activist Groups To Commemorate 2014 Odessa Massacre In US, Canada, Europe – Coordinator

A Sputnik interview with Wilayto that was picked up by UrduPoint, an Urdu-language web portal that is the sixth most visited webiste in Pakistan.

Global Conversations, Regis Tremblay and Friends: “Ukrainian Nazis, A U.S. War Against Russia, A Lifetime of Antiwar Activism: Phil WIlayto” OSC coordinator Phil Wilayto is interviewed by Regis Tremblay, one of the three U.S. peace activists who traveled to Odessa for the May 2 2016 memorial. Regis now lives in Yalta in Crimea. His online program has 10,000 subscribers.

A Packet of Information & Call to Action: May 2, 2022: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE ANTI-FASCIST PEOPLE OF URKAINE

Prepared by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

Eight years after the Odessa Massacre, a new wave of repression has been unleashed on the people of that city in southern Ukraine.

According to the mainstream Odessa Journal, the Department of Strategic Investigations of the National Police is claiming that Russian operatives are planning to incite riots in Odessa on May 2 with the goal of overthrowing the government.

May 2 is the anniversary of the massacre in 2014 in which a fascist-led mob murdered at least 42 progressives at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions. This took place just a few months after the U.S.-backed, right-wing coup that brought an anti-Russian, pro-NATO government to power with the open support of neo-Nazi organizations.

Every year on May 2, thousands of Odessans gather at the site of the massacre to peacefully remember their dead and demand justice for the victims. This year, In anticipation of these “riots,” the regional military administration is imposing a curfew on May 2 for the entire city. All public transportation will be shut down. Mass arrests are already being carried out.

Obviously, the authorities are afraid that the people of Odessa will once again gather in a memorial that exposes the government’s tolerance of and collaboration with openly fascist organizations – not the narrative being promoted by Washington and the mainstream Western media.

If the people of Odessa are unable to speak, we must raise our voices in solidarity with them and their demand for justice.

The Odessa Solidarity Campaign

The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality is a multi-issue, all-volunteer activist organization based in Richmond, Virginia, USA. In addition to our 20 years of community struggles, we’ve always been involved in opposing U.S. wars. And we know very well that Washington lies about those wars. It lied about Vietnam, it lied about Iraq and it’s lying today about Ukraine.

In 2016 we traveled to Odessa to stand in solidarity with the people of that city as they commemorated the second anniversary of what has been called the worst civil conflict in Europe since World War II. After returning to Richmond, we founded the Odessa Solidarity Campaign to support the anti-fascist people of Odessa and their demand for an international investigation into the massacre, something the Ukrainian government has never allowed. Each year we have encouraged local actions to remember the massacre and support the demand of the people of Odessa for justice.

Who’s responsible for today’s war in Ukraine?

Today Ukraine is involved in a terrible war. We do not support the Russian attack on Ukraine, but we are trying to explain what made it inevitable: the steady expansion of NATO to the very borders of Russia and U.S. support for the right-wing coup of February 2014 that set the stage for the Odessa massacre and everything else that followed.

It’s vitally important to understand the role that the U.S. government is playing in the current war. 

According to The New York TImes of April 30, President Biden is asking Congress to authorize $33 billion more in aid to Ukraine: “The request represented an extraordinary escalation in American investment in the war, more than tripling the total emergency expenditures and putting the United States on track to spend as much this year helping the Ukrainians as it did on average each year fighting its own war in Afghanistan, or more.”

This “aid” is in addition to the ongoing training of Ukrainian soldiers, sending thousands of additional U.S. troops to Europe and providing intelligence to the Ukrainian military.

It is inconceivable that Washington is doing all this without at the same time telling Ukraine how to conduct the war. This is not a war between Russia and Ukraine, it’s a proxy war by the U.S. against Russia, a war that has been long in the making.

It’s an old truism that the first casualty of war is truth. But no matter how many times we’ve been lied to about Washington’s wars, people still tend to give the warmakers the benefit of the doubt, especially when virtually all the news media is repeating the official line.

What can we do? 

  1. We can educate ourselves. This packet of information is meant to try and counter the lies we’re being told about Ukraine, the war and who is responsible for the current tragedy. Please take the time to educate yourself about this war that has the potential to ignite a much broader conflict, one in which there will be no winners.
  1. We can raise our voices in solidarity with the anti-fascist people of Odessa and all of Ukraine. Gather a few of your friends and co-workers, hold up signs saying “We remember the Odessa Massacre and Demand Justice for the Victims!” Take a photo and post it on social media. Then send us the photo, with the name of the city and sponsoring organization. We’ll compile and promote the photos and make sure the world knows that people do remember, and do care.

So far we know of actions planned for May 2 in Richmond, Baltimore, Vancouver, Berlin and Moscow, as well as webinars planned by the International Action Center and jointly by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, the Coop Antiwar Cafe in Berlin and the Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine.

  1. And finally, let us know if you’d like to stay in touch and work together to support justice in Ukraine. 

For a World of Justice & Peace for All, 

Phil Wilayto

Coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign

PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223

https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org

Email: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

Phone / Text: 1.804.644.5834

……………………………………………….

INFORMATION PACKET

WEBINARS

May 2, 2022: A Webinar on the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa

Moderator: 

Kat McNeil – Member, Antiwar Committee of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

Presenters:

Phil Wilayto – Editor, The Virginia Defender newspaper, and coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign, speaking on what led up to the present situation: the steady eastward expansion of NATO and U.S. support for the right-wing coup of 2014.

Leonid Ilderkin – Member, Coordination Council of the Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine, speaking ON the current wave of repression against all dissidents in Ukraine.

Heinrich Buecker – Founder, Coop Anti-War Cafe Bar, a meeting place for local and international peace activists in Berlin, Germany, reporting on the reactions in Europe to the situation in Ukraine by the various governments and by the peace movement.

Reckoning with Ukraine’s armed Nazi militias – International Action Center

Presenters:

Leonid Ilderkin – Ukrainian communist in exile; member, coordination council, Union of Political Refugees and Political Prisoners of Ukraine

Phil Wilayto – Author and activist; coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign

Alexey – A survivor of the Odessa House of Trade Unions massacre currently living in Luhansk

Sara Flounders & Teddie Kelly – International Action Center 

STATEMENTS

May 2 Appeal for International Solidarity with the People of Odessa – Odessa Solidarity Campaign; Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine; Coop Antiwar Cafe (Berlin)

Statement on the Present Crisis in Ukraine – Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; Odessa Solidarity Campaign; The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice – Feb. 28, 2022

ARTICLES

Russia, Ukraine & the U.S. – The background they’re not telling you – The Virginia Defender – Spring 2022

Political Repression in Ukraine – The Virginia Defender – 3/28/22

US Activist: West Carrying Out Massive Propaganda to Portray Russia as Enemy – Sputnik International – 1/3/22

US Activists Protest Against NATO Expansion in Eastern Europe – Telesur – 1/3/22

US activist: Americans should learn about NATO expansion to understand Ukraine – almayadeen.net – 3/17/22

INTERVIEWS

Media Silence about Ukrainian Political Repression – OSC coordinator Phil Wilayto on Sputnik’s “By Any Means Necessary”

VIDEOS

The fascist roots of Ukrainian nationalism – from “Ukraine on Fire” (Oliver Stone): Available on Amazon

ODESSANS REMEMBER!

The Odessa Solidarity Campaign is honored to share this video that has been created by people of Odessa in defiant commemoration of the May 2 Massacre: “MAY 2 IN ODESSA: IN MEMORY OF THE EVENTS.” It has also been posted by many other websites, including Poland’s Strajk.eu.

And this video from the International Union of Antifascists is about what happened in Odessa on May 2, 2021: “Odessans, you are beautiful: the House of Trade Unions was drowend in flowers in memory of those who died on May 2.”

And just so you can see what these brave people are up against, here is an RT report and video of neo-Nazis marching on May 2 through Odessa:

https://www.rt.com/russia/522758-ukraine-nationalists-march-odessa/





May 2, 2021: International Day of Solidarity with Odessa & All Anti-Fascists in Ukraine!

The following cities held events on May 2, 2021, to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Odessa Massacre of 2014. To add your event to this list, please send the date, time, location and name of the sponsoring organization to the Odessa Solidarity Campaign at: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

ODESSA, Ukraine

Defying threats by the fascists who were marching nearby, these courageous Odessans gathered throughout the day of May 2 at the site of the Odessa Massacre to honor the vicitms and contnue to press their demand for an international investigation. See the video posted above.

Here is a report direct from Odessa on the events of May 2:

“Odessa Remembers the Tragedy of May 2, 2014”

DONETSK, People’s Republic of Donetsk 

LUGANSK, People’s Republic of Lugansk

MINSK, Belarus

VANCOUVER, Canada

A show of solidarity by the Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. http://www.mawovancouver.org)

BERLIN, Germany

NOTE: The Coop Antiwar Cafe in Berlin has done a great deal to promote May 2 solidarity actions and to gather endorsers on the International Statement of Solidarity. There website is here:

https://cooptv.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/kein-krieg-der-usa-und-der-ukraine-gegen-den-donbass-und-russland/

Solidarity vigil, with Oleg Musyka, survivor of the Odessa Massacre, in Berlin.

Solidarity vigil, with Gina Pietsch, in Berlin.

HAMBURG, Germany

BUDAPEST, Hungary

Supporters of justice in Hungary gather May 1 in Budapest’s Municipal Park to express their solidarity with Odessa. A speech was given on behalf of the Organisers for the Left (SZAB). It appears here in English:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C2lOCVVBeTyszhWAxtK_QV1mNl1qtdtb/view?usp=sharing

and in Hungarian on the website of ATTAC:

https://www.attac.hu/2021/05/szolidaritas-az-ogyesszai-meszarlas-aldozatainak-hozzatartozoival/

BOLOGNA, Italy

CERIANO LAGHETTO, Italy

Deputy Mayor Dante Cattaneo of the Italian municipality of Ceriano Laghetto expresses solidarity with the victims of the Odessa Massacre. His speech can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/ioulia.liakh.3/videos/947272439420774/.

MILAN, Italy

An event sponsored by La Brigata Immortale and Comitato Contro La Guerra Milano.

https://www.facebook.com/events/469931197610457/?active_tab=discussion

NAPLES, Italy

BALTI & CHISINAU, Moldova

Events by the International Union of Antifascists at the Embassy of Ukraine in Chisinau and the Consulate of Ukraine in Balti “to honor the memory of the innocent killed Odessa residents in the House of Trade Unions.WE WILL NOT FORGET – WE WILL NOT FORGIVE!”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/904958819629788/permalink/3729767863815522/

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

Anti-fascists gather on May 2 at The Hague.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14oRp0GYGqVzQ28Jc8iXwd5O_1gtBNGHN/view?usp=drivesdk

MOSCOW, Russia

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia

LLORET DE MAR CATALUNA, Spain

This is one of four solidarity photos we received from Lloret de Mar Cataluna:

NEW YORK CITY – USA

A show of Solidarity in New York City’s historic Union Square by Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine. https://www.facebook.com/UkraineAntifaSolidarity

RICHMOND – USA

Twenty antiwar and justice activists, the majority youth and women and a third African-Americans, gather in front of the Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, USA, to express solidarity with the people of Odessa in an event organized by the Odessa Solidarity Campaign. Photo: Charles Brown.

VIDEO: OSC Coordinator Phil Wilayto explains the significance of May 2 at the Richmond event: https://www.facebook.com/phil.wilayto/videos/10159079772559451

MEDIA COVERAGE:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202105011082775835-us-activists-proclaim-may-2-to-be-international-day-of-solidarity-with-odessa/

https://tass.ru/politika/11292055 – U.S. organizations to protest Odessa Massacre ion May 2

https://tass.ru/obschestvo/11298461 – Richmonders hold Odessa solidarity event on May 2

THE BACKGROUND:  May 2, 2021, marks the seventh anniversary of the Odessa Massacre, when a massive mob led by openly fascist organizations murdered scores of people at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine. In February of that year, a right-wing coup backed by the U.S. government overthrew the elected president of Ukraine, unleashing neo-Nazi organizations against anyone thought to oppose the coup, especially Ukrainian citizens of Russian ancestry. 

It was that coup – rarely mentioned by any Western media in coverage of the region’s current rising tensions – that led to the majority-ehtnic Russian people of Donetsk and Lugansk to declare themselves independent of Ukraine. For the same reason, the majority-Russian ethnic people of Crimea held a referendum in which they decided to reunite with the Russian Republic, which they had once been a part of. It was the right-wing coup that precipitated these events, not “Russian aggression.”

On May 2, in Odessa, a multi-ethnic city on the Black Sea, progressives had gathered outside the House of Trade Unions on Kulikovo square and were gathering signatures on a petition demanding that the Odessa province have the right to elect its own governor, rather than be appointed by the new right-wing central government. 

Without warning, they were attacked by a much larger, fascist-led mob. They retreated into the five-story trade union building, which the mob then set on fire. At least 42 people died from the flames, smoke inhalation or from being beaten to death after jumping from the building’s windows to escape the fire. To date, not one person has been convicted of participating in the massacre, even though there are scores of cellphone videos of the events. (Just google “May 2, 2014, Odessa.”) Further, the Ukrainian government has never allowed an independent international investigation of the tragedy. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to support both the Ukrainian government and the neo-Nazi organizations that back the coup and led the attack in Odessa.

Some of these organizations, including the Azov Battalion, have linked up with U.S. white-supremacist groups, providing them with paramilitary training.

Each year on May 2, despite the threat of attacks by the fascists, Odessans gather at the site of the massacre to pay their respects to those who died there. And each year, antifascist organizations throughout the world hold local actions to show their support and to press the Odessans’ demand for an international investigation into the tragedy. (For more information on the Odessa Massacre, see: https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org.)

International Statement of Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist people of Ukraine and Dombass

This Statement was initiated by the U.S. organizations Odessa Solidarity Campaign (http://odessasolidaritycampaign.org) and Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine (https://www.facebook.com/UkraineAntifaSolidarity) and is supported by the Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine, among many other organizations. 

No U.S.-Ukraine War on Donbass and Russia!

Stop the Drone Strikes on Civilians!

Stop Killing Children!

Justice for the Victims of the 2014 Odessa Massacre!

For seven years now, the right-wing government of Ukraine, supported by the United States and other Western powers, has been at war with the people of the independent Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass region of Eastern Europe. Some 14,000 people have been killed, according to the United Nations. The people of Donetsk and Lugansk live under a brutal military blockade imposed by Ukraine and its Western allies. 

On March 22, a 71-year-old pensioner was killed by sniper fire near the capital of Donetsk. 

On April 3, in Aleksandrovskoye, Donetsk, a Ukrainian military drone strike killed five-year-old Vladik Shikhov and wounded his 66-year-old grandmother. 

On April 4, another Ukrainian drone strike wounded a civilian in Nikolaevka, Lugansk. 

Many members of the antifascist People’s Militia have also been killed while defending residents. 

Since January, Ukraine has been building up its military forces on the front line of the conflict. It uses prohibited weapons, targets civilians, schools and homes in violation of international law and regional ceasefire agreements. 

Battalions of troops affiliated with neo-Nazi organizations have been sent to the region, replacing regular Ukrainian army troops. But the Ukrainian and U.S. governments and mainstream media blame Donetsk and Lugansk for taking steps to defend themselves, and threaten Russia for pledging to protect the people there if Ukraine invades. 

Meanwhile, workers of all nationalities across Ukraine suffer repression, joblessness and price hikes while their government sells off the country’s resources to Wall Street. 

The U.S. government, under both the Trump and Biden administrations, desperately wants to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would allow Germany and other Western European countries to purchase Russian gas. Children, elders and other civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk are considered expendable targets by Kiev and Washington as they try to provoke a crisis to give them an excuse to further NATO military expansion and punish Russia. 

In recent days, the U.S. and NATO have been warning of a Russian military build-up near the Ukrainian border, but never mention that one of the largest U.S. Army-led military exercises in decades has begun and will run until June: Defender Europe 2021, with 28,000 troops from 27 countries operating in a dozen countries from the Balkans to the Black Sea, which borders both Russia and Ukraine.

This is where the real danger of war is coming from. We say no! 

Our joint call for international actions is related as well to another horrific tragedy.

May 2, 2021, marks the seventh anniversary of the Odessa Massacre, when a massive mob led by openly fascist organizations murdered scores of people at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine. In February of that year, a right-wing coup backed by the U.S. government overthrew the elected president of Ukraine, unleashing neo-Nazi organizations against anyone thought to oppose the coup, especially Ukrainian citizens of Russian ancestry. 

It was that coup – rarely mentioned by any Western media in coverage of the region’s current rising tensions – that led to the majority-ehtnic Russian people of Donetsk and Lugansk to declare themselves independent of Ukraine. For the same reason, the majority-Russian ethnic people of Crimea held a referendum in which they decided to reunite with the Russian Republic, which they had once been a part of. It was the right-wing coup that precipitated these events, not “Russian aggression.”

On May 2, in Odessa, a multi-ethnic city on the Black Sea, progressives had gathered outside the House of Trade Unions on Kulikovo square and were gathering signatures on a petition demanding that the Odessa province have the right to elect its own governor, rather than be appointed by the new right-wing central government. 

Without warning, they were attacked by a much larger, fascist-led mob. They retreated into the five-story trade union building, which the mob then set on fire. At least 42 people died from the flames, smoke inhalation or from being beaten to death after jumping from the building’s windows to escape the fire. To date, not one person has been convicted of participating in the massacre, even though there are scores of cellphone videos of the events. (Just google “May 2, 2014, Odessa.”) Further, the Ukrainian government has never allowed an independent international investigation of the tragedy. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to support both the Ukrainian government and the neo-Nazi organizations that back the coup and led the attack in Odessa.

Some of these organizations, including the Azov Battalion, have linked up with U.S. white-supremacist groups, providing them with paramilitary training.

Each year on May 2, despite the threat of attacks by the fascists, Odessans gather at the site of the massacre to pay their respects to those who died there. And each year, antifascist organizations throughout the world hold local actions to show their support and to press the Odessans’ demand for an international investigation into the tragedy. (For more information on the Odessa Massacre, see: https://odessasolidaritycampaign.org.)

The people of the United States, United Kingdom, the countries of the European Union or any other country would gain nothing from a war with Russia, the only purpose of which would be to promote the profits of Big Oil, other corporations and banks. We are the ones who would pay the price, in blood and resources. We don’t want U.S. troops or any other soldiers to be sent to fight and die in another needless conflict. And we cry out against the U.S. proxy regime in Ukraine killing our sisters and brothers in Donetsk and Lugansk. 

End U.S. aid to the Kiev regime! End all U.S. wars and sanctions! 

In solidarity with the progressive people of Ukraine, we demand the following: 

1 – An independent international investigation into the Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014. 

2 – An end to support by the governments of the United States and other Western powers for the neo-Nazi organizations such as Right Sector, Svoboda Party, C-14 militias and the Azov Battalion. 

3 – An end to military support for the Ukrainian government in its war on the people of Donbass, who refuse to be dominated by the right-wing government. 

4. Pressure the Ukrainian government to outlaw the neo-Nazi organizations in Ukraine.

5. Ban entry to the U.S. or countries of the European Union and their allies by any members of Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations.

6. An international Investigation into the financing of Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations by Ukrainian official leadership, with the imposition of international sanctions on those found guilty.

Further, we call on all progressive organizations around the world to hold vigils, rallies, public meetings and other events on May 2 to raise the above demands.

ENDORSERS (as of May 6, 2021): 

ORGANIZATIONS:

Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine

Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic

Trade Unions’ Federation of Lugansk Peoples’ Republic 

Union of Lugansk Lands, NGO

Borotba Association  – Ukraine, Donbass

Red Square / Molotov Club

Odessa Solidarity Campaign – USA

Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine – USA 

Anti-NATO Group Berlin – Brandenburg, Germany

Art Coupe – NGO Association – Italy

Centro di Iniziative la Verità e la Giustizia – SOS Resistent Ukraine / CIVG – Italy

Communist Party of Brazil

Coop Anti-War-Café – Berlin, Germany

Council of Federal Coordinators of the All-Russian Youth Movement for Patriotic and Moral Education of Youth “Volunteer Company of the Combat Brotherhood“ – Russia

Fire This Time – Vancouver, Canada

Frente Unido América Latina – Berlin, Germany

Friedensglockengesellschaft e.V. (Member, World Peace Bell Association (WPBA)), Anja Mewes, chair – Berlin, Germany 

Global Harmony Association (GHA), Dr. Leo Semashko, State Councilor of St. Petersburg – Russia

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

International Action Center

International Union of Antifascists

Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) – Vancouver, Canada

Revolutionärer Freundschaftsbund e.V. – Chemnitz, Germany

Struggle-La Lucha newspaper

United Labour Federation of Bangladesh

Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality – USA

Vrede met Rusland (A group of 2,400 people which aspires Peace with Russia) – Netherlands

Women Against Military Madness – Minneapolis, USA

Workers Party of Bangladesh 

Workers World Party – USA

INDIVIDUALS:

Oleg Akimov – Chairman, Union of Lugansk Lands

Korsakova Lyubov Aleksandrovna – Deputy, Luhansk Regional Council of the V Convocation

Andrey Kochetov – Trade Unions’ Federation of Lugansk Peoples’ Republic

Larisa Shessler – Chairperson, Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine

Abul Hussain – President, United Labour Federation of Bangladesh

Phil Wilayto – Coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign; Editor, The Virginia Defender – USA

Bahman Azad – Executive Secretary, U.S. Peace Council – USA

Dr. Alexander Bahar – Historiker und Publizist – Heilbronn, Germany

Dieter Becker – Mitglied, Gesellschaft zum Schutz von Bürgerrecht und Menschenwürde (GBM e. V.); Ostdeutsches 

Kuratorium von Verbänden (OKV e.V.) – Germany

Barbara und Gerald Böhm – Mitglieder der ISOR e.V., Vorsitzender der TIG Leipzig – Germany

Joachim Bonatz – Stv. Vorsitzender ISOR e.V. – Germany

Bärbel Brede, Künstlerin – Teltow, Germany

Dr. Adam Broinowski – Historian and theatre maker – Australia

Heinrich Buecker – Member, German Peace Council, World Beyond War Berlin, Coop Anti-War-Café – Germany

Humberto Carvalho, Erecina Figueiredo, Nubem Medeiros, Cláudio Ribeiro & Luciano K. Vieira & — Communist Party of Brazil

Harry Cason – Lecturer, City University of New York/College of Staten Island – USA

John Catalinotto – International Dept., Workers World Party – USA 

Terry Crawford-Browne – World Beyond War – South Africa

Maren Cronsnest – Anti-NATO-Gruppe Berlin Brandenburg, Frente Unido América Latina; Mitglied der VVN/BdA – Germany

Anton Demidov – Council of Federal Coordinators of the All-Russian Youth Movement for Patriotic & Moral Education of Youth

Renate Döhr – Irlandgruppe Omega – Berlin, Germany

Sara Flounders – Co-Director, International Action Center – USA

Angela und Lutz Gläsel – ISOR e.V. – Leipzig, Germany

Bernd Gnant, ISOR e. V., Kühlungsborn

Gedrius Grabauskas – Chairperson, Lithuanian Socialist Front 

Robert Remarque Grund – Friedenaktivist und nichtständige; Vertretungsperson des Weltverbandes der Gehörlosen in Pjöngjang – Berlin, Germany

John Hankey – Film Director – USA

Prof. Dr. Gordana Jovanović, Faculty of Philosophy (retired), University of Belgrade – Serbia

Claudia Karas – AG Palästina/Frankfurt – Germany

Ana Barbara v. Keitz – Handwerkerin, Berliner Arbeitskreis Uranmunition – Germany

Stella Khorosheva –  Co-Editor, “Sovranita Popolare” News holding – Italy

Vera Kubrichenko – City council of Slavyansk, V-th and VI-th cadention – Ukraine

Vera Kubrichenko – City council of Slavyansk, V-th and VI-th cadention – Ukraine

Anton Latzo, Prof Dr. Habil – Politikwissenschftler, Historiker – Germany

Frank Liebholdt – Frente Unido América Latina – Berlin, Germany

Klaus Linder – Deutscher Freidenker-Verband – Berlin, Germany

Joe Lombardo – United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) – USA

Gisela und Siegfried Lorenz – ISOR e.V. Leipzig – Germany

Raymond McGovern – Former CIA Analyst – USA

Dr. Izzeddin Musa – Diplomgeologe – Wachtberg, Germany

Dr. Alexander S. Neu – Member, German Parliament, DIE LINKE

Satoko Oka Norimatsu – Director, Peace Philosophy Centre, a peace-education organization – Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Nancy Larenas Ojeda – Freundschaftsgesellschaft Salvador Allende e.V, Berlin;  Coordinador, Alemania Partido Communista

Axel Plasa – Journalist, Frente Unido América Latina – Berlin, Germany
Cornelia Praetorius – Berlin, Germany

Brigitte Queck – Dipl. Staatswissenschaftlerin, Mütter gegen den Krieg – Berlin, Germany

Karl Rehbaum und Eberhard Pätzold – Arbeitsgruppe Aufklärer in der GRH – Berlin, Germany

Telma Rinkes – Berlin, Germany

Jesus Rodriguez-Espinoza – Editor Orinoco Tribune, Independent News Outlet – Caracas, Venezuela

David Rovics – Singer/Songwriter, Political Activist – USA 

Rick Rozoff – Journalist / Stop NATO – Chicago, USA

Dr. Wolfgang Schacht, Mitglied der Freidenker, Übersetzer russischer Artikel und Bücher, Wandlitz – Germany 

Michael Scheinberg – Progressive Activist, College Teacher – USA

Donatas Shultsas – Chairperson, Lithuanian Union on Human Rights

Regina Silbermann – Spokesperson, LAG German-Russian Friendship – Saxony, Germany

Bijan Tavassoli – Vorstand Freidenker Nord – Hamburg, Germany

Tobias Thiele – Musiker – Berlin, Germany

Torsten Trentzsch, stellv. Vorsitzender des Rev. Freundschaftsbundes e. V. (RFB)

Mauro Valderrama – Lehrer, Mitglied Frente Unido America Latina, Coordinator Partido Communista Peru, Berlin – Germany

Peter Weinfurth – Editor, Linke Zeitung – Germany

Carolus Wimmer – President, Committee for International Solidarity and Peace, COSI; former President, Latin American 

Parliament, GPV, 2014-2015 – Venezuela

TO ENDORSE THIS STATEMENT, REPORT ON LOCAL MAY 2 EVENTS OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, EMAIL:

ODESSA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN – DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

A project of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality 

PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223 – USA 

Facebook: Odessa Solidarity Campaign

Web: http://odessasolidaritycampaign.org

Phone/Text: +1-804-644-5834  – 

————————————————————————————————-

STATEMENT BY THE UNION OF COMMUNITIES OF THE LUGANSK REGION

It is well known that in Odessa on May 2, 2014, militants of the extremist organization “Right Sector” and football fans destroyed a tent camp on Kulikovo Pole, where there was a peaceful collection of signatures for holding a referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and granting the Russian language the status of the state language. Then the radicals set fire to the regional House of Trade Unions, in which people took refuge. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, 48 people died in the riots, about 250 people were injured. 

This day showed the whole world that Ukraine as a rule of law no longer exists. This is a country whose government adheres to the ideological views of neo-fascism. And confirmation of these words is the fact that until now the real perpetrators of this terrible tragedy have not been punished. Not only is the Ukrainian investigation, under the leadership of the leaders who came to power through a coup d’etat, doing everything to establish the version about the guilt of the victims themselves, who were in the House of Trade Unions – allegedly a fire broke out due to the fact that they threw from windows and from the roof Molotov cocktails, which is an absolute lie, for which there is a lot of evidence in documentary videos from that day. 

Residents of Donbass are very close to this pain. I am convinced that all those responsible for the crimes committed against the people of Donbass and Odessa will be punished. We must remember this, for us this memory is sacred. Kingdom of heaven and blessed memory to all Heroes of New Russia! 

Chairman of Board of 

Interregional public organization 

«Union of communities of Lugansk region» О.К.Akimov

_____________________________________________________

STATEMENT FROM CHERIANO LAGHETTO, ITALY: “REMEMBER ODESSA”

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the terrible tragedy that took place in Odessa (Ukraine) May 2, 2014. On that day, dozens of Odessa residents were killed and killed by Ukrainian nationalists.


Seven years later, this crime remains unsolved, the Ukrainian authorities continue to harbor criminals. The relatives and friends of those killed and injured lost all hopes for a fair investigation.


And attempts to perpetuate the memory of the victims are met with aggressive opposition from the nationalists coming out. The authorities of the state of Ukraine and the mayor’s office of Odessa took a wait-and-see attitude.


But there is a small town of Cheriano Laghetto in Italy, where people with a “big” heart and a courageous mayor named Dante Cattaneo live, who did not remain indifferent and did not fear threats from the Ukrainian Embassy in Italy, were appropriated, in November 2014, by one of the squares of the city named “Square of the Martyrs of Odessa”.


Every year since 2015, on May 2, residents of the town and its deputy mayor lay flowers at the memorial.


And this year they will come to the memorial again, lay flowers and freeze in a moment of silence.

Cheriano Laghetto (Italy)

May 2, 2021: Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist People of Ukraine

We’d like to invite all our friends and supporters to join us on Sunday, May 2, in a one-hour gesture of solidarity with the heroic anti-fascist people of Ukraine who are standing up to their U.S.-backed, right-wing government and the neo-Nazi organizations that support it.

Please check out the event on Facebook and consider marking yourself “Going” or “Interested.” Much appreciated!

https://www.facebook.com/events/760769668160391

May 2, 2020: Justice for the Victims of the Odessa Massacre!

May 2, 2020, marks the 6th anniversary of the fascist-led massacre of scores of progressives at the House of Trade Unions on Kulikovo Square in Odessa, Ukraine. To date, not one of the perpetrators of this heinous crime has been punished. The Ukrainian government has never allowed an independent international investigation.  Relatives of the victims are still being repressed.

On this sacred day, the Odessa Solidarity Campaign joins with its friends and allies around the world to demand justice for the victims and their families.

We echo the words we saw scrawled on a wall in Odessa:

WE DO NOT FORGET – WE DO NOT FORGIVE!”

For more information, please read through the posts on this website. Share the information, and help build the movement for Justice.

REMEMBER ODESSA MAY 2!