Ukrainian Emigrant forensic criminologist expert Sergey Iskruk is expected to meet with the head of the UN Office in Donetsk later today on Friday giving further expert analysis and results of the investigation from the horrific event, the Odessa tragedy, an investigation in which he had taken part.
“Forensic expert Sergey Iskruk had asked the human rights office representative in the Donetsk People’s Republic to help him contact the international organisation , The UN over the possibility to give a full investigative report and factual findings into the tragic events that occurred in Odessa on 2 May 2014,” DPR ombudswoman Darya Morozova’s press office reported.
Official Schedule was made to have Iskruk interviewed by UN representatives to record the expert examination findings.
Chemical poisoning caused the death of 48 people in the Odessa Trade Union House on May 2, 2014, according to forensic criminologist Sergey Iskruk who participated in the investigation of the tragedy, speaking in Donetsk, Wednesday. “Forensic examination showed that traces of chloroform were found in the blood of some of the victims,” Iskruk stated, adding, «chloroform in the presence of an open fire or under direct sunlight turns into phosgene. What phosgene is I think you all know — it is a chemical warfare agent. And given the traces of spilled substances, absence of reflex functions of the victim’s bodies, presence of untypical for fire yellow smoke, it can be concluded that in this case, chloroform was used, which transformed into phosgene due to the fire.» Iskruk said that after the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine became informed of the results of his investigation, the pressure was applied on the criminologist in the attempt to change his conclusions. The expert also revealed that he was physically assaulted on two occasions after the investigation was completed. “Sometime later I was approached on the street by two people in khaki uniform from a radical organisation, and they said they would bring me the examination materials with different conclusions, and I’m only required to sign. Comparing all pros and cons, I decided to leave the territory of Ukraine,” said Iskruk. 48 people died, with over 200 injured, in a series of events that culminated in a large fire ripping through Odessa’s Trade Union building on May 2, 2014. After clashes erupted between anti-Maidan and pro-Maidan protesters, the latter group reportedly set fire to the Trade Unions building where anti-Maidan demonstrators had found refuge. Despite international concerns and calls to investigate the tragedy, the perpetrators of the 2014 Odessa massacre have yet to be caught or prosecuted.
Iskruk was involved in the 2015 investigation into the mass deaths at the Odessa Trade Union House. As he presented the results of the expert examination into the cause, he came under pressure from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office: initially, he was asked to revise his conclusions, and then physical forces was used on him.
Iskruk, a member of the team of investigators, decided to leave Ukraine for safety reasons after Praviy Sektor extremists demanded that he sign a new version of the expert examination. The forensic expert said for the first time that the mass deaths at the Trade Union House were caused by chemical poisoning.
The tragic events in Odessa unfolded on 2 May 2014. Activists of the Right Sector extremist organisation of neo-fascist ideology together with so-called Maidan Self-Defense activists burnt down a tent camp in Kulikovo field where signature collection was underway in support of the referendum on federalization of Ukraine and official status of the Russian language.
The supporters of federalization and anti-Maidan movement took shelter in the Trade Unions House but radicals encircled the building and torched it. The tragedy left 200 people dead and more than 200 injured, according to police. The culprits were never punished, while the injured parties found themselves in the prisoner’s dock.
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