Today is May 2, the third anniversary of the Massacre at Kulikovo Field and the Trade Union building, Odessa, Ukraine. That event began as a series of protests leading to clashes between pro- and anti-junta forces in the city of Odessa, Ukraine. With the “pros” being Ukrainian nationalists and fascist parties; and the “antis” being those who mostly used to vote for the other party and did not appreciate the junta seizing the government. As a result of the clash, the badly outnumbered anti-junta elements, whom Western media contemptuously dismiss as “pro-Russian” and therefore deserving of a fiery death, were defeated and viciously massacred.
In this Politnavigator piece, native Odessan reporter Valentin Philippov interviews Dmitry Odinov, leader of an anti-junta resistance movement called the “Russian Druzhina”. The two men engage in a healthy post-mortem on tactics, both agreeing that the leaders of the Kulikovo protest committed serious errors when picking the time and place of their action. To a certain extent, these actions were spontaneous and not thought through, as a true military leader should do. The protesters were outnumbered and out-gunned by the Ukrainian nationalists, their protest was doomed to military defeat.
Odinov: “I was categorically opposed to this (May 2) action. Because I understood that it was not just old men in embroidered blouses [i.e., elderly Banderites] riding into the city. What we had riding into the city were several thousand well-trained militants. These were not mere street hooligans, there were special forces, some veterans, there were quite a few well-motivated soldiers. This was a serious [opposing] force.
“On our side the forces were more semi-partisan, a not very well organized crowd of people who, indisputably, resisted heroically, but who, in the end, according to both quality and quantity of military assets, were forced to retreat.
“I was convinced that, since the battle was inevitable, we needed more time to prepare. May 9 would have been a better choice. Everybody knew that this clash was bound to happen sooner or later, in one form or another. But we needed (more time) to collect people, to prepare public opinion, to let the cry go out unto the city, to more quickly gather our forces…”
Meanwhile, as this other piece points out, Odessans continue to offer resistance, but now in more subtle ways, with acts of silent protest and individual courage. Since early this morning ordinary people have had to pass through a gauntlet of Ukrainian police and National Guard, in order to lay flowers to the memory of the dead.
Even Maxim Stepanov, Governor of the Odessa region [Ukrainian Governors are appointed by the President, not elected] was spotted on Kulikovo field. Wanting to have his cake and eat it too, Stepanov gave interviews to the “neutral” press but refrained from laying flowers.
Yesterday, the Ukrainian central government made it clear that it would not tolerate any dissent. Treating Odessa like the occupied city that it is, the government rolled out tanks into the streets of Odessa to threaten the populace. According to Odessan TV reporter Grigory Kvasniuk, this “reign of terror” is typical for the “European regime” of Petro Poroshenko. The Europeans would have squealed like stuck pigs if ex-President Yanukovych had done anything remotely like this.
The tanks on the streets of Odessa only underscore the quiet heroism of those who venture out to bring flowers to honor those who resisted the triumph of Ukrainian fascism. To honor those who died, on May 2, 2014 in the Russian and European and international city of Odessa.