Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Odessa Trade Union Massacre: The Red Tape Behind Odessa Police Purge

October 27
small edits Oc. 29

<-- Odessa Trade Union Massacre, 2 May, 2014 {Masterlist}

There can be little doubt the first deadly violence of May 2 came from militants wearing red armbands, pointing and firing guns from ground level and rooftops. The red bands (plus St. George ribbons and other signs) are supposed to mean Anti-Maidan, "pro-Russian" activists; their unprovoked bullets are blamed for the shooting deaths of six people, sparking the following escalation by the other side. Pro-Kiev analyses consider these "terrorists" the only people to blame for the day's events, while anti-Maidan analysis often calls these obvious infiltrators, probably Right Sector, sent in to spark the planned massacre. The latter is probably more true, but at least some in that outfit seem legitimate, caught up in the backlash and arrested in the dozens just before the assault on the House of Trade Unions.

This likely mixing of real and fake leaves researches with a murky situation that can't be easily called one way or the other. Whoever they all were, note that including non-fatal hits, the Odessa shooters apparently aimed for both pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan activists and police - see here - just like the mystery snipers in Kiev that brought the new government to power in February. Sooper-seekrit Russian agents bent on mindless chaos are generally blamed by Andriy Parubiy, who was in charge of security in both cases ...

The obvious police inaction that allowed this deadly escalation has been widely criticized, often taken as a sign of complicity with the red-armband militants. Both sides do this; one says they were pro-Russian cops, the other says we see right-wing cops helping with the provocation. By our study so far, it seems the police were neutered by some kind of unofficial order to support no one and let actions take their corse. This furniture-like state was best taken advantage of by the provocateurs, like "Botsman" (Vitaly Chudeko) who fired a fake AK-47 replica at people from behind the police lines (see here).

Less of these people complain that the same inaction at Kulikovo Field allowed them to get manifold revenge without interference. Consider this lightened still from 2:50 in this Alex Rychkoff video, showing the police line at the building's north end around 8 PM. One of the many things there they did nothing to stop was neo-Nazis spraying their vile symbols across their pointless wall of shields.

That's passivity. Another and more concrete issue with the police that day was the apparent show of solidarity some cops at the clash scenes made with the anti-Maidan side. Several were seen wearing the same red-tape armbands as the provocateur militants, but lower on their arms (always below the elbow, while the militants have it always above). Here are three still images used around, and the source articles for background reading:
Top:  Odessait.ua Middle: bolshoyvopros.ru Bottom: TSN.ua in a report citing then-governor Nemirovsky claiming police were often bribed to take the anti-Kiev side, supported the with this image. Also used at "Planet Putin" which explained "It has been common practice since early Maidan for titushki provocateurs to wear a common armband with Berkut riot police they were working with, so presumably the police would be able to identify them and not accidentally shoot or beat them."

In context, the visual effect is clear: red-banded militants always cling to and talk to the police, especially those unusually displaying the same color. Not just pro-Russian militants but corrupt, pro-Russian cops were also to blame for angry people having to massacre people later on the day's unfortunate events. Such images, alongside the real inaction and various other clues and rumors, fed into a massive purge of the police force of those thought to be of this pro-Russian sort.

Police chief Petr Lutsyuk and his top deputy Dmitri Fuchedji (one of those shot and wounded in the clashes) were both fired and put on watch on May 4, likely along with quite a few others. Fuchedji, fearing for his life, fled to Transdnistria, where he blames Parubiy's private army for the assault (Kiev calls the fugitive their "main suspect" and want Russia to hand him over). Lutsyuk remains around, perhaps in hopes he'll side with Kiev and blame Fuchedji and the pro-Russians (so far, it seems he's maintained public silence)

In quieter batches, the new chief Katernichuk has overseen the dismissal of what the Interior Ministry estimated in mid-October as 412 members of the police force (in Odessa region, not just the city) over links to terrorist groups and the like (see here and Policing the Police?). What proportion is that, I wonder? MoI brags that over half of those fired were ranking officers, meaning they really shook up the system responsible for what happened May 2.

The guys in the photos used as proof for the problem should surely be among those fired. But just like the real snipers so necessary to the massacre, who probably escaped everything unharmed as others paid the price, the case against these particular cops eventually fell apart. For their September report, the Ukrainian Rada's temporary committee investigation (whitewash, mainly) asked about the issue. As summed up by RBC.ua, Sept. 8 auto translated with repairs:
"When asked why some police guards had wound red tape around their hands (forearms), similar to what is used to identify activists of Odessa squads "the police reported that when they stand in steps ( тоять у сцепці ), for hand protection they wear shields. These shields often slip, causing injury to hands, so for fixation, the plates were wrapped with tape, the color that was in there ( який був у наявност )" - said in the committee's report.
So it had a strictly tactical purpose, simply using the color - maybe the only color - they had on hand that day. It was an unusual bright red and had this unfortunate effect. They might have skipped it and relied on the professional gear designed with such things in mind. But that wasn't good enough, and they were really worried about slipping shields. The troublesome color did not actually wind up hidden beneath shields very much, and was seen just waving in the open on many arms. Red flag! Problem with the police!

The low placement, about where you'd put shield-holding tape, does in fact fit with this story, but it's still hard to believe. Rather, using the forearm probably means they put on this costume with that excuse in mind, that is with conscious intent to cause a problem for others and then wriggle out of it themselves. It worked and they got in no trouble, I'm guessing, because they are not the pro-Russian cops they appeared. In fact, they might swing far to the right, helping as they did to spark a purge of those anti-Fascist cops like Fuchedji, Lutsyuk, and 410 others.

An investigation of these police with red tape is in order, but will not happen by official channels. After such massive losses recently, they can't afford to fire every cop just who happens to be a Pravi Sector sympathizer and participant in the false-flag massacre and Fascist purge.

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