Talk:Odessa Trade Union massacre/101 call

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For full transcript in Russian and detailed comparison with the official Bodelan transcript (used in Rada investigation), see 101_call_compare page.
Labels for different bits of audio and Bodelan versions are assigned on 101_call_compare page.
(Russian, English, or Ukrainian is OK to use on 101_call_compare page).
Working language on this page is English. 


Recording apparently starts at or before 19:40 pm, since recording timestamp 27:00 is 20:07 pm local time. May be starting at earlier local time, since apparently recording is voice-activated (further local time reports are behind later time stamps)

  • (0:0) a woman on Kulikovo , saying that fire approaches the building and urging the operator (o) to :send (fire truck) immediately. Operator tells the caller the fire is on open air and there is no danger. :Caller insists. Operator than insists for the caller to say whether or not she is herself in the open space. :Once confirmed, operator hangs up on her immediately. Some giggles or noises follow. Then audio, :which appears to be the same woman goes

  • (0:32-1:24)
Товарищ полковник, ну теперь уже поступают сообщения о загорании вот этих палаток на Куликовом поле, они ж там горят хорошо – мы по телевизору видим. Ну, я объясняю людям, что это открытая территория, ничему не угрожает.
(101- Koeva) Comrade colonel, now we are receiving calls that those tents are on fire at Kulikovo, they burn quickly over there—we can see this on TV. Well, so I explain to people So I explain people that this is an open area, :and there is no danger
(colonel Gubai V.V.) А хто дзвоне? (hm-mm, yeah... and who calls? (in Russian, strong Ukrainian or southern accent)
Вот мне уже два раза женщина звонила. (a woman called me two times already)
Население дзвоне? (so, civilians are calling)?
Да, да. И которые стоят, и которые живут. Я им говорю, что открытая местность, они вот сгорят и быстро сгорают.
(yes, yes. Those who stand there, and those who live there. I tell them, this is an open space, they (tents) will burn quickly, and are burning fast)
Вопросов нет, да. Хай сообщают, палатки угрозы не предоставляют никакой.
yeah, not a question (i.e. approves “no danger” answer. Let they tell, tents represent no danger at all)

  • (1:24) Hello, happy holidays...we see lots of smoke
(o) yes, we know
so what's going on, are they burning tires?
(o) yes
  • (3:08) Chief car arrived to our post, they left Savchenko, and departed
  • (3:21) (man) who deals with the photos?
(o) photos are taken
(man) forward to me than
  • (4:48) Tania, you called us and asked, are you watching? Or, never mind, it was “7” calling
  • (5:37)(man, who is hesitant to describe who he is and eventually presents himself as a volunteer, of paramilitary sort) Athens hall on fire, we have some smoke. (o) asks many questions, apparently just some smoke, not much happening there
  • (7:00)policeman on duty for the city of Odessa (city wide watch) calls and tells to dispatch dire track :(o) asks somebody for advice. Advice is to say (apparently pretend) that they are sending the fire trucks.
(o) asks why they are needed, it’s just the tents. In the end, no indication that anything is sent
  • (7:47)(o) Alina, when did you call us about news you saw on TV? About 5 pm
(o) No it was earlier. –OK, I will ask Azhinskii (?), we were together, and call back ( answer apparently revised to 3 pm)
  • (8:15) A woman calls, says the building is on fire, and molotovs/IUD going off can be heard. (o) The building itself? (confirms she understood)
  • (9:16)A man calls and tells (o) to prepare, so when the command is given, they are ready to go
  • (10:27)somebody they know calls, and tells, OK, send the trucks already, fire is now on the building footsteps (o) is in favor of thinking it is just the tents on fire; in the end says “I understand”
  • (10:53) A woman calls to report fire. ( o) says it’s just some tires burning, and there is no danger

  • (11:20) policeman on duty for the city of Odessa (last name Vereshago) calls, and tells an order to deploy is given. (o) is skeptical why this is needed, asks some questions. Ends with (o) saying “I understand”.
101, служба спасения. (101, Koeva)
Это беспокоит дежурный, выдвигайтесь на Куликово поле. (This is officer on duty, deploy to Kulikovo!)
А что там горит? (And what is burning?)
Выдвигайтесь! Команда выдвигаться на Куликово поле. (Deploy! Command to deploy to Kulikovo!
А вы кто, простите? (And who are you, sorry?)
Дежурный по городу. (On duty for the city )
Дежурный по городу? А как ваша фамилия? (On duty for the city? And what's the last name? )
Верещака. (Vereshago/Vereshaka)
Ясно. (OK, I understand)
(диспетчер бросает трубку) (apparently 101 hangs up)

  • Some 9 -10 calls come in, saying that building is on fire, all floors, people are trapped, asking to send trucks, demanding to know why there are no trucks. (o) tells she “understand”, or hangs up sometime
  • (14:19) (man, barely audible)
(another man, well audible)help is needed, to receive photos, and to send them with a courier dispatch, OK?
(14:42)somebody from “HQ for civilian security” ( in charge of block posts ) calls to report fire at Kulikovo building. (o) “understands”.
about 11 incoming calls , reported fire, fire trucks are needed, high ladder is needed
(17:50) A man on duty calls. Why don’t we go to Kulikovo already? Top brass now starts to yell at me
(o) OK, we will go
man: oh, it has not been done yet?
(o) it has been
(18:15) dispatching 1 (one) fire truck to Kulikovo, instructed to enter from Kanatnaia Street, next to military commendatura (HQ) “ tents on fire, and some fire on footsteps.” Local time = 19.56.
  • 17 or so more incoming calls, building on fire, people are trapped, not a single fire truck
Caller urges to send ALL trucks not just one
caller urges to make sure there is safety net, as people jump from the building
A cell phone number of a woman trapped inside, who called back home, is given to the operator
(24:02) A caller yells at (o) that there are children (incorrectly) and women (correctly) in the building. (o) questions how they got there. Verbal exchange ends with (o) hanging up.
(25:00) caller asks whether trucks have safety nets as people jump. (o) does not know.
(25:40) difficulty to reach the building is reported, Gubaii V.V., head of firefighting department, is in charge of that team
  • (26:06) Chief of MoI department asks, where are your fire trucks??There is nothing for 20 minutes, where they are coming from???There is not a single one here! (o) They will arrive soon.
Where are they, where are they will be coming from?
When our bosses gave orders, we dispatched them immediately. Fire trucks were at the stadium, one was captured, so you need to understand. I understand you, and we dispatched them already now
  • (27:06) fire water-tanker type truck is dispatched
  • (27:20) truck with ladder is dispatched . Local time 20.07 pm.
  • about 6 more calls that no trucks have arrived
  • (29:15-32:43) (20.17-20.25 pm local) water tanker, pump, another fire truck are dispatched. Names of crew chiefs are given
  • 29:35 (o) asks "Lilia" what trucks she has still left, answer is ГДЗС ("gases and smoke protection vehicle"), and рукавный truck (providing mobile pipework to feed water). Those two trucks are dispatched at (29:47) =20.17 pm local.
  • (32:59) incoming call, people trapped in burning building, 5 floor, suffering from smoke
cell phone number of a trapped woman is provided to (o)
  • (34:45) “18 coroner reports “ called for
HQ car has left? No, it’s still here.

.--Resup (talk) 02:25, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Link for video with the calls KatKan (talk) 01:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Transcript in Russian is published here (this appears to be full transcript, just no video time-stamps; will double-check later) --Resup (talk) 18:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

official transcript certified by Vladimir Bodelan (Владимир Боделан ), Chief, Odessa Region HQ, State Service for Emergency Situation (see 101 below). This appears to be washed-out, to the point of obscuring the real meaning, compared to the audio recording and its transcript, above. It seems reasaonably clear that conversation at (0:45) above is Between Svetalana Koeva (operator), and colonel Gubai V.V. (he would be also the first to actually respond and get stuck in traffic...). Official version gives (0:46) bit in Ukrainian with few details; but audio has it in Russian. (So, audio is the more believable version...) --Resup (talk) 19:15, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Example of discrepancy:
(official transcript (dumskaya)) 19.44.17. – інформація про направлення на Кулікове поле пожежно-рятувального підрозділу надійшло від чергового по УМВС м. Одеса (Верещага) (in Ukrainian)
Information that a fire-rescue detachment was sent to Kulikovo is received from MoI officer on duty (Vereshaga)
(closest to this on audio-transcript, at 3:00) ... (a woman): Штаб подъехал к нашей части, но они оставили Савченко и уезжают ...
(Koeva): Yes. (A woman): HQ vehicle arrived to our detachment, but they left Savchenko and are departing. (Koeva) Yes, I understood
Vereshago name appears much later on audio, at (11:20) on audio, when a male policeman-on-duty calls Koeva. He tells them to deploy; she asks questions (what is burning, what is his namee), and nothing happens in the end.
101, служба спасения. (101, Koeva)
Это беспокоит дежурный, выдвигайтесь на Куликово поле. (This is officer on duty, deploy to Kulikovo!)
А что там горит? (And what is burning?)
Выдвигайтесь! Команда выдвигаться на Куликово поле. (Deploy! Command to deploy to Kulikovo!
А вы кто, простите? (And who are you, sorry?)
Дежурный по городу. (On duty for the city )
Дежурный по городу? А как ваша фамилия? (On duty for the city? And what's the last name? )
Верещака. (Vereshago/Vereshaka)
Ясно. (OK, I understand)
(диспетчер бросает трубку) (apparently 101 hangs up)

Chasing out all that is a lot of work. (Also, how accurate is the timing, on audio? On official record?)?--Resup (talk) 20:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

About 101

101 is, as I can tell, emergency phone number of ДСНС , Державна служба України з надзвичайних ситуацій = state service of Ukraine for emergency situations. Here is a link to Gubaii V.V. who was leading the first dispatch; he is assistant head of chief directorate, ДСНС, Odessa region Directory listing suggests that it is integrated structure, they also handle e.g. analytics, corruption, road safety, and special (that would be military-type) objects. This is all under one roof. So, the calls were not to 'Sveta,' they were (I understand) calls on the emergency number of ДСНС. There were several people in 101 room--there are echoes heard; so ДСНС HQ is responsible, not 'Sveta'--Resup (talk) 18:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

ДСНС report--Resup (talk) 18:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

An interesting resource. The table seems hard to read but may yield valuable info. The text part, Yandex translated with repair attempts as needed, and comments:
19 hours 54 minutes on the Kulikovo field 1, clashes between conflicting parties citizens, during which were used Molotov cocktails, a fire broke out in a separate foci in the foyer of 1, 2 and 3 floors...
This seems to say the fire broke out suddenly at 7:54, which isn't true. This might be when the sudden fire of the 2nd floor landing of the central stairwell broke out. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The effort to extinguish the fire involved in 13 units of fire and rescue equipment and 51 personnel SSES. Fire damaged the lobby on the 1st floor, offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors over a total area of 120 m2.
The fire was complicated by the large number of conflicting individuals who actively prevented the entrance of fire equipment and fire extinguishing.
Does not apply to the time span 7:10-7:56 PM --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
While fighting the fire from the building evacuated 210 people rescued 120 people.
Rescued vs. evacuated suggests those they simply let or led out (?) vs. those they had to help out. Evacuation is usually done with most people waiting outside when the fire crew arrives. Suggested between them is 330 people still sitting inside a burning, Nazi-invaded office-building when they arrived at 8:10 and after. That clearly is an extreme problem. It also complicates any narrative where 270 people were killed - that would be 500 people in there, when most sources (I think) agree the total was around 300. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
As at 23 hours (11PM) at the site of the unrest, 36 dead were identified, 28 of them 28 identified inside the building.
Slightly different from some sources - I've counted 32 inside (most seen around 9 PM in the Flagneck tour video), heard of 10 died outside the windows, but things were moving around ... "identified" here could better be "located." --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The cause of death and the number of victims in the clashes and fire is set, ( встановлюється = set, established, installed, etc.)
Quick work by next day ...
In fact fire and law enforcement bodies held investigations ( проводяться слідчі дії. ).
Numerous thorough probes already done by the next day? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
investigation is being conducted (not completed)--Resup (talk) 13:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Fire and rescue unit SSES worked at higher grade call "Fire No. 2"
Yes, operator said fire no 2 when doing massive dispatch at the end of the video. I was not clear is it the second fire out of some two fires monitored, or category 2 fire. It is almost surely category 2 fire. Not sure how categories go for Ukrainian fires (number 1 is weakest or most severe?). Initial crew dispatched was for burning tents, like almost non-event, so somebody listed near the hierarchy top should be surely leading such dispatch --Resup (talk) 13:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Fire category

In Russia, 1 category is weakest (like one room on fire), 2 category is when there are many people, and equipment of 1 district is called, 4-6 "detachments" are called (not clear is 1 "detachment" = 1 truck; maybe it is two somehow). If this is more dangerous, becomes category 3, several districts join forces. Russian classification explained. Cannot find Ukrainian ones, it will be under пожежа 2 категорії This reference goes over some stuff but not about fire categories. They may use Russian ones. It is curious to know, did she sent 1 district forces, or everything in the city of Odessa (not clear). --Resup (talk) 13:40, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The report only seems to mention Prymorskiy district, and my impression is they were the only ones involved, or we'd hear some hullaballoo about how the whole city was mobilized. Specifics, perhaps in time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


Resup, you have 27:00 equating to 8:07, but that's not explained that I saw. It would be good to know when these calls came in, if the timeline is continuous or compressed, etc. Looking at the link you provided for Bodelan, it says: 20:07 the chief of the regional police Department phoned 101 and shouted, "Where fire trucks?". Is that around 27:00? We have some prior calls with time-stamps, like the 7:45 call about a fire on floor 2 "co" the entrance. If that's recognizable in this stream, a time-stamp would help. If it's continuous and we can set 2-3 synch points, the whole video could have a known real-time offset so every call can be timed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

This is 26:06 time stamp, I did not type it before, it's there now. Whenever I give local time in the transcript, it is because they tell the local time (for the record). Recording appears to be voice-activated, so there may be longer physical time interval compared to recording time interval (but not by too much) --Resup (talk) 02:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

That's one way to know, if they say what time it is (the people there know already, but it helps us). A call one minute earlier is also 8:07, all close enough for that part. It is however more than likely compressed. No gaps, timeline unsure. Some confusing references also to the earlier fire. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Unclear what's the story with Athens center smoke; could be something happened there later, or a fake report was made. It does not appear to be about clashes, some other smoke --Resup (talk) 04:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
There are details in Rada report, including some timeline --Resup (talk) 04:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'll dig into again sometime ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Here's a help: The Timer transcript reflects the famous call previously timed at 19:45:23. The wording is slightly different and, being right from the audio, preferable to Bodelan's "leaked" (grossly incomplete) version via the paper of May 2 Group's Sergei Dibrov, Dumskaya. Whatever time-stamp this happens at should mark 7:45 PM, unless that was never right. - 101. - Добрый день, девушка. Куликово поле горит. - Да, там шины горят, ничему не угрожает. - Там закинули в здание. - На каком этаже? - Второй этаж, над входом. - Второй этаж горит? - Да, над входом. - Я поняла вас, хорошо. - 101. - Алло, здравствуйте, девушка, дело в том, что на Куликовом поле горит здание профсоюзов ввиду известных событий (слышны крики). - Я поняла. - Пожалуйста, сделайте хоть вы что-то, потому что милиция ничего не делает. - Я поняла. - Да, до свиданья.

Previously, first part was about the same. Somehow I "got there are burning tires," but both sources give "шины" which is bus (I don't know of a burning bus here- just a Borotba-type van in the center of town). I was right to focus on "со входа" to describe the second floor fire as the confusing part. "With log" or "with entrance," (from? near?) etc. ... is now "до свиданья" which translates "above entrance." It might then refer to the second floor blaze above the lesser back exit/entrance. Or another fire I missed. (it could well be this early, if the 24-min video starts at 7:28, which it could). And it sets another video-real-world time correlation to help map out the time span covered. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Also, there's a second half to that call I didn't consider before, appearing in both versions, maybe differences there. Best covered wherever... --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Dispatcher Identified?

I cannot verify this ID, and not sure how it was made, but ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:52, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

In tragedy 2 may blame the service Manager 101
The Internet literally exploded [sic] the appearance of the first audio and then the video of how terrible day may 2 rescue service in Odessa for nearly 40 minutes had ignored pleas for help from those who burned alive in the House of trade unions. How do I find the bloggers, the Manager in the day fateful day was the captain of the civil protection service Svetlana Koeva ( Светлана Коева ).
On audio is heard well that Koeva in response to dozens of panicked calls about the fire, assured that nothing they believe their own eyes that burn in the open, nothing terrible...
...Terrible record originally published online publication "Думская.net". (
As noted by the authors, the first call about the fire came on room 101 at 19.35, when the radicals set fire to a tent camp on the Kulikovo field. However Koeva refused to send fire brigades, citing the fact that "burning in the open, nothing threatens".
Ten minutes later at 19:45 showered panic calls that is already burning the House of trade unions, but the Manager still refused to take action.
Svetlana Coeval actually did not take adequate measures to rescue dozens of people.
...And here is what he writes about Svetlana Koeva for the year before the tragedy edition "Evening Odessa":
"At first, Svetlana, as she says, it was scary to take responsibility: taking a message, to send the call to the fire and rescue Department. "Over time you get used to this tension: my job is to help people....
She appears to be a small fish under orders .... --Resup (talk) 05:24, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe her ideology lent her to this inhuman task, or even to over-doing it, but I don't think that's knowable. Likely she was, as you say, just acting on orders and not just being rude, though that's also unknowable. If so, they were orders she should have protested or not followed, and I'd say she's due for an explanation, like who gave these orders. Calling her "the culprit" is obviously silly, but she might be a culprit who could lead to bigger ones. (As if anyone in power will be pushing for such info when they already know and approved it all...) --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
If this was indeed Svetlana, she received an award (like a medal) for bravery for her May 2 firefighting... No ideology appears involved on her part, on top of "study in college, get a job" ideology. Same ideology as everybody else who was acting on improbable guidance and got paid and promoted for doing that well. --Resup (talk) 11:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Following orders: thinking about this, I imagine the orders can in the form of odd assurances, and I start by wondering how she can be so sure all is fine when the people calling are there and she isn't. A normal person would reason the caller knows better and not shout them down or hang up on them like some liar. Maybe someone outside the usual command loop but with authority and that she trusted (some cop, SBU, etc.), who was in on the plot, set her mentally. Say he gave her the news early in the day of the brutal Russian agents killing innocent Euro-kids downtown, and lit the cinder of the need to clear their camp finally. She had his assurances he'd be there keeping it controlled - no one would be harmed, no one hiding in a building burned out, only tents or tires in open areas would ever be torched. Then maybe he told her there would be paid Russian agents calling all day insisting on a dangerous fire. "They'll be trying to get their precious camp saved, so ignore their lies. No emergency, and tomorrow no more Russian terrorists problem." The right political mindset (basic compliant patriot minimum) would help, but they wouldn't want to pick some known Right Sector sympathizer. (the photo to me shows a compatible type of dead-inside) The delay in response could be however long it took for the assurances to wear thin in the face of the calls, the number and variety ... I don't yet know how well that lines up with the content ... could she keep Bodelan out of the loop by not sending alerts up to him? Not if he was at the site himself, as suggested (I'm not convinced) ... can you keep someone from talking about that just by cozying up with awards and veiled threats? ... sure, I suppose. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
They may have told her that those tents are a fire safety violation and so supposed to burn down controllably for the sake of fire safety, and somebody is taking care of everything, she just have to do what the manager, whoever that was, say (or something similar, with cozying up at a later point)
Large proportion of all people know, or suspect, or should have, that part of what they do is not right, or not ideal at least; if any of them will get an idea to resist, it will be entirely different world, like perhaps what they dream about in Novorossia (...that does not seem to go too well either...)

--Resup (talk) 13:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)


Rada investigation record essentially similar times of dispatches and gives details of number of units deployed. It records that decision not to send fire trucks was taken by Vladimir Bodelan, who explained it by perceived danger to fire rescue crews and the fact that one truck was seized. Bodelan claims he was located at Kulikovo.

However Rada account is much washed out compared to the actual 101 transcripts and create an impression of mostly regular- orderly developments. There is a serious doubt on that, based on call transcripts. Bodelan role is hidden in transcripts (he says he made an order orally; it is not recorded). However it is clear that police on duty called in the fire trucks, and that the name of officer and circumstances were carefully questioned, but no trucks were sent. If there was perceived danger to crews, it would be the police job to handle, not fire rescue to get scared of in silence from the police. Also transcripts suggest some sort of careful bookkeeping performed (what's the deal with those photos?), with several 'managers' involved (both distant and nearby male voices, popping in after some distinct from regular phone call beeps).

Bodelan was disciplined, but no criminal charges. Some further details, in Russian, are here --Resup (talk) 16:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)