Talk:Odessa Trade Union massacre/Fires

From A Closer Look On Syria
Jump to: navigation, search

Fire Response

As widely claimed, it took an hour fire fire cres to arrive after the fires broke out at the Trade Union Hall. As it turns out, they first arrived at 8:09 PM, 38 minutes after the first call at 7:31. [1] However, actual fire engines were kept away fro some time, and it was probably an hour or more before most survivors were able to finally get out of the burning building. This section will cover some of the various issues that screwed up the fire response. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Arrival time seems to be on-site and spraying water time, or close to it. However, the first truck to arrive was able to do little from its mob-wary distance. The water could reach, apparently at 8:09 and after, but not the ladder. Thus as I piece it together, it was one hour from first tents lit (about 7:15) and thus possibly first calls (the set starting at 7:31 is apparently incomplete) and arrival of more effective units around 8:16 or a bit before that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:01, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

4 PM Fire

The response to reports of a fire at Kulikovo Field cannot be understood without (or with only) considering the response to another fire report earlier in the day: From the Rada temp. committee report, Google translated):

In 16 hours 12 minutes (4:12 PM) in the Operational focal point of the Main control SSES of Ukraine in the Odessa region 2 may 2014, it was reported the fire at: Odessa, Prov. Vice-Admiral Zhukov.
The scene was immediately directed the Department DPRC-l (4 people. personnel on the fire truck), which after 6 minutes (16 hours 18 minutes) arrived to the place of call. Fire is not detected.

There was a real/partial fire seen on video near the Magic Noodle, on Hretska street at about Zhukova Lane, or near the Afina center. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

(fire details, visuals, etc. here) --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

But it apparently didn't need their attention by the time they got there, or something. So they turned back. The report continues:

During their journey to their permanent base in 16 hours. 30 minutes fire truck was seized by unknown persons with threats of physical violence, of which the chief of the guard reported to duty Operational focal point.
To free car and negotiating with the protesters on the scene arrived head of the Main Department SSES of Ukraine in Odessa region Bodelan V.R., his first Deputy, Large R.M., Deputy to respond to emergencies Lip B.B. and head of the Odessa city administration Shushoku DI
(fixes here :) ) --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
According to the results of negotiations fire truck was released and returned to their permanent base in 19 hours. 20 minutes (at 7:20 PM)
Captured fire truck was used for ramming barricades, and as a result have been subjected to mechanical damage.

They don't specify who it was that stole their truck (Maidan side, seen on video) and that no one on that side was charged for that or anything. An arguably unneeded fire engine had become a liability, an expensive piece of machinery taken too close to the Maidan mob. That's something to avoid in the future, perhaps, and a concern that was allegedly central to the delayed response later. The damaged engine got back to base at 7:20, just minutes after the first tents at Kulikovo started burning, 11 minutes before the first worried call (by the incomplete Dumskaya leak anyway), and 10-25 minutes before the building started burning inside. Hm. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Note at (0:26) the fire truck seized here appears to be "regular/universal" type. License plate: 7651 (9?ч ?-- unclear )1. АЦ letters on top (Automatic Cistern? or they all got such letters?)
But the truck first arriving to Kulikovo (noted below in the video list) is different type, it is just the long ladder and nothing else on the truck. So, explanation that fire truck did not arrive because it was seized is bogus. --Resup (talk) 02:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
People do try to connect the earlier seizure with the later poor response, but as I think the stuff below clarifies, it was a more indirect connection. I still think it's bogus, but ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:40, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Responding Units

From a combination of text and video sources, it seems at least three fire department trucks, two engines and a ladder unit - made appearances that began at 8:09 PM by all official sources, after a dispatch at 7:56 (11 minutes at least since interior fire reported, 12 minutes before arrival).

The first truck sent was parked at a distance (as they say, from initial worry it'd be stolen) but subsequent units somehow got over that and pulled right up. Considering that, by video, the sequence of arrival seems to start with the one seen parked at a distance from the back (SW face) of the building. This is handy considering how hard it is to correlate scenes from the front vs. back and decide which is first - the one out back apparently was. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:40, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • This first engine is best seen in the E-95 video at 21:12, tapping into a water main in the street and running long hoses into the courtyard and up 20-foot household ladders. So, this must have been the first one, arriving or spraying (whichever is the measure) at 8:09.
    • plate no 8044 ч1 (E-95 21:15) door/vehicle number 2 (Alex Rychkoff video 3, 0:25). This truck is either the standard "pump-ladder" or, I think, a lesser pump-only one. What would be the ladder but apparently isn't is best seen in E-95 at 21:35. This truck parks just outside the back gate, 50-60 meters from the back stairwell on fire. With no ladder, this unit was never able on its own to get water very high, so its distance may not matter much. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

The next unit arrived, officially, at 8:16, I think. It's less clear if this was the second engine that pulls up to the front face, from the south, or the ladder truck that pulls up to the north end from the east somewhat earlier. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Ladder unit: 12-min video shows this arriving at the video's end, with no sound or sign of the second engine before. That sets the sequence. A short Dumskaya video shows its arrival best, rescuing an older woman on the 4th floor ledge, missing Talk:Odessa Trade Union massacre#The Screaming Woman heard at that corner is a slightly later rescue. It's probably the same ladder that, after all that corner work, then goes to the back (E-95 video at 21:47), wrapping around from the north end and pulling in the gate to rescue a man on the 5th floor ledge and maybe some of the people inside.
    • plate no. 7708 ч1 door number: 3 - same vehicle north end, back end, out front later - may be the only ladder on site. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Second Engine: Dibrov's 44:22 video captures this truck's arrival from the south, through the crowd at 15:00, nearing the blazing main entrance at 17:24 into a video starting at 7:57 by the title. So about 8:16 or soon after seems a reasonable time to be set and spraying.
    • plate no. unclear. Door/vehicle number 7 (see 0:32 in this video). Same ladder issues as the first engine. Even after it parks by the front doors and they start dousing that area, people continue climbing down scaffolding as the best option. Ladder no. 3 or maybe a second ladder appear later, helping more people down (details not sorted out) --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

How many ladders is that? I think both of the pump trucks are the kind that lacks a ladder, but the videos I've checked or my knowledge of fire engines are not clear enough. I see horizontal structures across the roof that must serve some purpose, but they just don't look big enough. If so, maybe only the one ladder unit was present, which means for any rescue or any higher fire-fighting, everyone had to wait for the one ladder truck to get to them. No two elevated tasks could be done at once. One more way to slow things down a bit, but another that could have a natural explanation as well. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

A Timer photo of what's probably the second engine, at about its station. That could well be some kind of ladder, or quite a water cannon. Haven't noticed it in use, whatever it is, on either of the units sporting it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to listen 101 one more time to get all mentioned equipment, but one recognized and not yet recorded is 'мсард', microprocessor-controlled system for automatic pressure control; presumably this is to use in case of major fires with diverse feeding water supply. Somebody at call center is taking that thing and going with it. The point is that this is modern-equipped facility, not a desk +lady+landline. Also they mention "штаб" , which can be anything from a car with Chief/Sheriff painted on it, to a mobile command HQ --Resup (talk) 14:33, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
There are at least one or two other vehicles of different types I've noticed, but they don't seem as worth cataloging. What's most crucial is what can put out fires and help people escape from upper floors, at least at the most relevant and delayed first part.--Caustic Logic (talk) 20 Oct.

Vladimir Bodelan

He could use a section. (intro details here) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Was he there on the day? A source or two we've seen recently suggest he claims he was there. His early statements have him implicitly there and witnessing people fall out the windows and thought a gas hit them (see Talk:Odessa Trade Union massacre/Chemicals#Vladimir Bodelan). This might narrow down reasons for the delay - if he knew the building was both occupied and burning, he should have been able to override anyone else and order a response, unless he too was intent on letting them burn for a while. Or did he just get there late? The people falling episode seems to be around 7:50 (give or take, not settled), at the same time as a sudden flare-up on a lower floor inside at that area. This dramatic sequence and his finally ordering movement at 7:56 seem related, anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Vladimir Bodelan looks like this and I don't see him in any of the videos I've checked. The famous 24:17 video where police and Gutsalyuk are discussing how to evacuate people, he's no in that discussion. This and a couple other videos show the place and time he'd have to be to witness that. And he may be there: the inferno video avoids most faces. But I haven't seen him yet. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

One Response Shapes The Next

Rada investigation report (Google translated) gives some insight into how fire chief Vladimir Bodelan considered the 7:45 fire in light of the 4 PM one.

According to Bodelan V.R., in order to prevent threats to the lives of rescuers and, given and, given the situation with the seizure of a car fire that occurred three hours earlier on Prov. Vice-Admiral Zhukov, he took responsibility for sending fire and rescue units to the scene.
Thus, only 19 hours. 55 minutes provided the order of the direction of Kulikovo one branch of the state fire and rescue unit # 2."

By this, it was the violence of the mob torching the place, and fear of a repeat of their earlier violent seizure, that forced any unusual decisions. This is however worth questioning: If they simply gave up the trucks, it seems physical danger to the crews would be minimal. If they had to fight to do their job, it wouldn't last and they'd get beaten. If no one attacked, on broad daylight on many videos, and after some time to "smoke 'em out"... they might be able to save lives. The last seems possible enough it might be worth aiming for, with some negotiation or something ... but no, he decided it was too risky at first. He has also specified this danger was heightened by the continued failure of the police to bring the mob under control; they hadn't created a safe working environment, leaving too much responsibility on Bodelan over things he was even less equipped to control than them. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Anyway, that unmeasurable risk led Bodelan, officially, to "take responsibility" (already his) for ordering a response anyway. What this means is he took a certain, modified kind of responsibility that he explains with these worries. Some key features of the modifications he made: --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • There was a possibly related 10 minutes delay (his or someone else's, unclear) before he knew and ordered a unit. Is this just how long it took to re-think the worry and decide to hazard one unit, kept at a distance? A delay before he was even told? Or a realistic-looking delay that might increas the death toll somewhat in a plausibly deniable manner? --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Initially, only one unit was sent. If this decision to limit the response to one truck is from the same worry about truck seizure, it makes little sense. Send two so if they seize one, there's still one active (until it's seized too) vs. send only one, so in case it was seized, they could say oh well, at least they didn't take two of them. Better yet, why not send zero and take no risk? Ah, that would look really bad. This, maybe is a compromise. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • As mentioned, the one unit was kept at such a distance it could do little to contain the fire and less to rescue anyone. Thus, effective fire response was delayed until the other units arrived about 8:16 ... which is fully one hour after the first tents began to burn. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

No Water

Some witnesses claim the Trade Union Hall had its water turned off before the fire-assault. For example, "Inna" says ""there was absolutely no water in the building. The water was cutoff before the ultras/fascists began their attacks, before the bottles with flammable liquids and "Molotov cocktails" got thrown into the building." She saw some people wetting windowsills, wasting their precious stored water and, she advised, making fire more likely to spread. She says they stopped doing that on her advice. While "Inna" makes it sound like the water was off the whole time, Alonya and/or Tatiana, speaking to Kyiv Post, suggest it went out after the power went out. "At the same time as the smoke appeared, all the lights went out. Later, the water was turned off." Might this make electric-pump issues a likely reason? But why was the power turned off? --Caustic Logic (talk)

Antimaidan activist Vlad Wojciechowski recalled falling back "into the House of trade unions stones, to have something to defend. I and another guy had turned fire hoses to repel attackers water. But the water was shut off. [2] --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:18, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Odessa TU Hall fire engine water.png
However it came to be, video evidence supports the claims that the building lost its water flow at this crucial time. The Road E-95 23-minute video offers better views than most of the corroboration (as I see it anyway - I'm no firefighting expert). At 20:45, the first efforts can be seen, at the burning back stairwell. There is no fire engine with its big ladder and hoses; a 20-foot ladder that barely reaches the 3rd floor landing is used. One firefighter at the top sprays up to beat back the fire a floor above him (seen in a still from the same video cited above - he's mainly trying to put out the one victim). The hose he uses runs out the back gate (21:05), away from the building, as if the building had no water to offer. The fire engine (plate #8044 ?) sits nearby (21:15), tens of meters to the southwest, connecting to a city water main in the street. The distance, it seems, was to keep the life-saving tool out of the mob's hands (it had already been an issue that day), not because it had to be that close to the spigot. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Or are they just using the closest connection, being so far from the building for other reasons? Maybe this isn't such clear supporting evidence? --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
(side-notes to move) Note in all the pools of water around there's quite a bit of blood. It's not slaughterhouse thick, but disturbingly close to that, considering. All this footage must be after that first truck arrived at 8:09 PM, and the second truck arrives (21:47) a bit later, near full dark (records say it was only 7 minutes later, at 8:16 PM). This one drives into the courtyard so they can finally have a big ladder. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

A better point in support might be the apparent lack of water coming from the building's fire-suppressing sprinklers. Maybe they were just never installed in this older Soviet-era building even by 2014, but chances are they were. And signs suggest they didn't turn on. The inside is all dry burnt after, simple fires seemingly spread un-checked except by fire extinguishers, etc. Specifics forthcoming ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:38, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Leaked Calls

  • English -language discussion of the audio transcript is on a separate page.
  • Multi-language page, full audio transcript in Russian and detailed comparison with the official Bodelan transcript (used in Rada investigation). (Russian, English, or Ukrainian is OK to use there).
  • Labels, for different bits of the audio and Bodelan versions.

Note: this first batch publicized in August is not really "leaked," whoever if anyone said they were. At first was a very incomplete transcript signed by the emergencies director #Vladimir Bodelan, in Ukrainian from Russian dialog, with some poor translation, and some of the most damning patterns fuzzed away. The later direct audio released in October may be truly leaked, of unclear provenance, no official endorsement, and it's how we know the previous one was so washed-out (see an extract under 101 call below, and links to the detailed transcripts above) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

A later RT report of August 9 cites Bodelan somewhat skeptically speaking of "the fire brigades “that arrived at the site on time”" when recently obtained phone transcripts to emergency services show it took 13 minutes to travel the 300 meters from the station, on an order of 7:56 PM, following on the first reports of a fire (in the tent camp) at 7:31. Total time: 38 minutes, 25 of that waiting to even call the order. "Earlier, Bodelan repeatedly said that the first call his brigades received was at 7:45. However, the leaked document, which Bodelan allegedly signed himself, shows that it was 14 minutes earlier – at 7:31." In that time:

“A building at Kulikovo field is on fire, why aren’t you coming?" a caller asked at 7:48. “They are coming, coming,” the dispatcher responded. “Ok, are you waiting till it burns down?” the caller said. Another 12 calls were received within the next 10 minutes. “Hello, this building has been on fire for 15 minutes now. Is anyone coming or not?” a caller said.
“Hello? Are you coming?” a caller asked. “Yes, they are,” dispatcher said. “But we will burn down now,” said the caller. A note in brackets says the person calling was sobbing.

It does seem likely the crowd slowed them down further upon arrival, like se says, but the other delays before that are also not to be ignored. Perhaps he was told to let the tent camp burn, but started reacting when he learned the trade union hall was also burning and occupied. The RT report says he was sacked, then re-instated:

Shortly after the tragedy, the head of Odessa's emergency services department, Vladimir Bodelan, was dismissed from his position. Bodelan led the entire operation to combat the fire and was blamed for the unsatisfactory work of rescuers, who did not rush to the scene immediately after being called. ... On July 28, the Odessa City Court ruled to restore Vladimir Bodelan as the head of the state service for emergencies in the Odessa region.

One of the phone calls that didn't get heeded super quick was from UN Monitors, or so they say, in the June 16 report. HRMMU = Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. They mave ways of monitoring and learning about things, in this case it seems pretty quickly.

46. During the evening a fire broke out in the Trade Union Building. At 7.43 p.m., the HRMMU called the fire brigade, which has its base located 650 metres from the Trade Union Building. Reportedly, the fire brigade only arrived 40 minutes after receiving the first phone call about the fire. According to fire brigade officials, this was due to the fact that the police did not create a safe and secure perimeter allowing the fire brigade to easily access the Trade Union Building. The cause of the fire remains unclear at this stage. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:16, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

From this, select calls Google translated with clarification by me, that add to what RT has already in English:

  • 19:45:23
  • Kulikovo field is burning
  • Yes, there are burning tires, nothing threatened
  • No, there was already thrown in the building and it starts to burn (missing noun?)
  • On which floor?
  • Second floor
  • Second floor on fire?
  • Yes, with (near?) entrance. (со входа was "with input," otherwise renders "from entrance" an image search suggests - but co means with, here maybe meaning near/above)
  • I understand you.

101 Call

  • 101 call, English -language discussion of the audio transcript is on a separate page.
  • 101_call_compare; multi-language page, full audio transcript in Russian and detailed comparison with the official Bodelan transcript (used in Rada investigation). (Russian, English, or Ukrainian is OK to use there).
  • Labels, for different bits of the audio and Bodelan versions.

In Mid-October, a more complete audio record of the emergency "101" calls was released in a Youtube video. This is partl transcribed abd discussed some more on its own discussion page Talk:Odessa Trade Union massacre/101 call --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Vladimir Suchan on Facebook:

Telephone recordings from Odessa's emergency service were published from the time of the Odessa massacre. The reactions of the Odessa dispatcher make it evident that the emergency service was part of the planning and the organization of the massacre. When numerous calls started coming about the attack on the Kulikovo pole, the machine-like response of the emergency service was that the fire is "only in the open area where it threatens no one," "just tires burning," and "nothing terrible is going on." However, the service was asked by its management to monitor people's reactions. When calls started coming alerting the emergency service that the Labor Union building was set on fire, the emergency service first tried to its worst to deny it--even though these were calls from witnesses--for example, by saying and admitting that the Odessa authorities and the Odessa police had their agents at the site. When the denials were no longer possible, the emergency service reduced its response to "we understand" or "we understand you well." Meanwhile, the people inside the building were burned to death and slaughtered. The voice of the dispatcher shows a mixture of callousness and signs that she knew very well what was going on and thus one can hear well the torturous violence the female official was inflicting on the remnants of her soul. She and the emergency service were directly assisting the massacre, making sure that nothing interferes with its course.
First 101 (fire emergency) call comes from a woman on Kulikovo Polie, 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 (0:45)
(o=operator) "comrade Colonel (c) , now 2 calls received already, that the tents are on fire . They burn fast, they are on open air, and we see it on TV. So I explain people that this is an open area, and there is no danger".
(c=colonel): hm-mm, yeah... and who calls? (in Russian, strong Ukrainian or southern accent)
(o) a woman called two times already
(c) so, civilians are calling?
(o) yes, I explain there is no danger
(c) yeah, not a question (i.e. it's OK)
next caller: we see lots of smoke
(o) yes, we know
so what's going on, are they burning tires?
(o) yes

Transcript (English) Full transcript, multi-language --Resup (talk) 18:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Debatable whether the transcript needs a page, but eh, it's good sized and to have a link for it on this page might be a level 5 section that goes on... okay. Fixed internal link, put categories there (always at top on a talk page) and left it a talk page so you could sign it. Thanks for all the awesome translation work. Normally we are kind of idiots like dogs and cats when people in videos we're studying start to talk. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:46, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

There's little explanation where this audio came from. I don't hear any reason to think it's fake, but it's possible. The 7:46 call I focused on above bears these hallmarks - oh it's nothing, just tents/tires, followed by "understood" and then no action. So either this is part of the same real record and pattern or a thought-out fake. If real, this would mean Dumskaya's leaked call record was incomplete, maybe as they say limited hangout. It did seem a bit thin to me. This would be the more damning portion, then. It suggests a plan to let some people clear the Kulokivo field, as the Governor had asked. Someone knew an attack involving fire on May 2 was likely enough that the department needed special guidance to respond like this, likely certain people placed on shift (maybe not even the real employees?) (How they could predict the pro-Russian types would be that provocative remains unclear... must be part of the same Putin plot then?) But again, that's all "if true," which seems likely but could use more explanation and support.(will look into it soon if no one else does) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:46, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Indirect evidence that 101 call may be real is that city of Odessa had more than one fire truck (which seems very likely and maybe there is a way to check). But none of the trucks arrived until some 30 minutes later (which seems to be agreed by everybody). "Explanation" was that one truck was seized by Right Sector. But it was just one (and as I understand at this point, the seized truck was not a high ladder truck most needed there). Also: on the record, one caller yells that there are children in the building; operator does not believe that and questions how they got there. But how on Earth operator would know who is or is not there, unless she is coached what should be happening. At one instance late in the recording, she seems to have some real emotion showing (having to do with people in burning building), but it is quickly gone, and we have a talking robot back again. There are some emotions when Athens fire/smoke is reported as well. A curious thing in the recording is a different type of beep (louder), and than some internal discussion pops in, discussing some photographs, or some coroners. Would be curios to confirm, or otherwise, that those bits are all parts of the same recording. For now it appears she answers calls, and also there is something else of internal sort happening. --Resup (talk) 13:49, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Faking at this point seems counter-productive, crude fake will be quickly noticed by people with some experience, high quality fake will implicate a (quality) secret service. No strong reason to take a risk with lots of other evidence. It is interesting whether emergency services recordings are part of any of those 5 (or so) official "investigations" --they should be, for any serious/believable investigation. --Resup (talk) 14:12, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I consider it unlikely too, and mostly wanting more details just for good measure. I imagine the calls were considered and considered irrelevant; "pro-Russian tents on fire is not an emergency! They responded right!" --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
""Explanation" was that one truck was seized by Right Sector." Sort of. I'll start a section above to iron out the response details and given reasons. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Visible Fires

Tent Camp



Explosive Start? There's some span of time after the tents were set ablaze that the barricade at the front door remained both manned by supposed "separatists" and free from fire. I haven't pieced together for sure when they finally clear out and get inside, nor when the mostly wooden barricade first starts burning. But the following might be the start of it, or an early moment anyway:

That's from the 24:17 video uploaded by Andre Fomine (Oriental Review), at 4:32 into a video that starts, I think, around 7:35 (or 7:30-7:40). The area doesn't seem to be burning before this mysterious blast beyond any molotov cocktail. After, there is a column of flame. Other footage suggests the main part of the barricade the burned early was at the north corner, nearest to the camera here. The flash and boom are noticable, but the cameraman at his distance doesn't seem to notice it. A disctinct explosion like this doesn't seem to be widely reported. It does however line up oddly with what Andriy Parunbiy, Kiev's then-security chief and likely pogrom organizer, said in a May 21 interview:

When the explosion happened in the House of the Trade Unions, experts have shown that the substance that provoked it had been stored there a long time ago. The House of the Trade Unions was a kind of headquarters for the separatists, it was not controlled by the authorities, nor by the opposition. And the substance that provoked the blaze was brought there during this period of time [when the separatists controlled the building]. I’m not saying that this substance was inflamed on purpose. But when Molotov cocktails were thrown from the fourth floor at the participants of the Ukrainian rally, the substance inflamed.

This exterior blast can't explain the blaze(s) inside, but it's similar, and makes his point that explosive stuff was in areas the "separatists" controlled. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Not the best points above, I suppose. Updated video, however, correlating two views (adding a sequence from [ the Tracca E-95 video.} This clarifies the blast is ignited a few moments after a dynamic-looking molotov cocktail lands right there. This also helps show the antimaidan defenders are still at the barricade at this time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:36, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Front Entrance


Back Stairwell

At 13:40 in the 24:17 video, the cameraman is at the back (SW face) of the building. The exit here opens onto a courtyard, at the bottom of the central stairwell. Some people can be faintly seen in there, better in other videos, occasionally tossing things out. No one walks out the door for the whole video that I noticed. The few members of the mob back here are overseen by a moderate police force, including a commander with a bullhorn shouting at one side or another. The hecklers toss stones at the windows, but no one throws molotov cocktails here that I noticed, and there aren't any visible fires (the front was sporadically lit up before he walked back here). The cameraman laughs sometimes, like at 15:35 when a rock from above lands in the dirt. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:33, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Odessa TU Hall fire backside 1.png
This remains until 16:00 or so when he goes and films the police. At 16:34 check the audio - a stick hits 3 times. On third hit, a bunch of breaking glass is heard at once. That might be coincidence or not. 16:40 shots, pops, more glass, same to 16:54, with no clue shown as people argue. At 17:16 briefly, the camera pans far enough to see the courtyard looks smoky now. Each person there looks that way in the following seconds and says nothing, before the helmeted pointing guy decides to lead the way back to check out the brand new fire (17:39). Now everyone's shouting. At 17:52 (does that cop ask twice in English "who are you?") he finally looks up and just then the second floor breaks into major open flame. This and all floors above are already pouring massive black smoke. Sounds like gunshots, a boom at 18:01 that seems to put the flames out. They start again, weaker, on the left, and it keep poring smoke. However this happened, it offers a new explanation why no one from above anyway got down to that exit. With this and the torching of the front doors, both exits were blocked by fire, with this one being a little mysterious. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:33, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Inset video still from another video, found around - shows the police line (doesn't seem as solid from the cited video) and the second floor blaze some moments after the scene I described. The blaze seems brightest at the center here, as opposed to left-centered at the start. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Odessa TU Hall Fires Backside frontview.png
Time: Considering the above, let's say 17:00 in the video is when the fire was started (it'll be close). If that video starts broadly between 7:30-7:40, being continuous, this would be 7:47 to 7:57. This alone puts it close enough to the 7:45 call about a fire inside, second floor, near an entrance, that maybe this is what they were describing (see leaked calls, and a translation I added for the entrance part, forthcoming). If so, the video starts at 7:28 or a hair earlier. Hm... pushes the tent fires back a couple minutes but it all fits fine. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:33, 3 September 2014 (UTC) and Caustic Logic (talk) 12:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
"Entrance" explained - see leaked calls, 19:45:23 --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
The video "Trade Union House fire in Odessa full video" focuses solely on the front side, but does catch the back smoke briefly; at 2:36, during the pan-out, the column of black smoke from the back can be seen for the first time (see inset). The front door is already burning, here and before in a preceding edit - whether the back was smoking then too is unclear. This is a no-later-than time correlation. The same video, at 3:12 - several edits later and nearing full dark - shows this fire is seemingly extinguished and just putting off steam, as the front door blazes are just barely being put out. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:58, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Odessa TU Hall Fire Backside 3.png
Odessa TU Hall Fire Backside 2.png
Odessa TU Hall Fire Backside 4.png

More images:

At right, a photo run with the Telegraph's excellent report from Roland Oliphant. By this time, after 8:09 PM fire crew arrival (see below). The wall is wet, and fire looks like it had gotten worse, then a bit betterbefore some climbing started. Below that, an RT photo, from a bit later yet after the still un-checked fire has burned away more of the window frame. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Correction: looking closer, the frame's the same. Order unclear then, and likely the opposite of what I said. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Bottom image, from the 24:17 video we started with (at time-stamp 21:02) , showing a good view of that door that never opens, the fire, and where the falling victims were just recovered from - except maybe on the right, where they also landed with some fire and partly beneath some gray, flat object. Not sure how to read that (see 19:03, a sad scene) This is earlier than the other two images, well before 8:09. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Important Features of this fire and this spot:

  • Most of the badly charred victims seen in a stairwell seem to be in this one, mainly and the worst-charred being on the second floor landing (I think...). But I don't think this we're looking at is what burned them. When it's filled in, see #Victims Burned Later?. I wish someone had though to keep a steady cam trained on that stairwell all night...
  • Enough apparent jumpers/tossed bodies (my theory for some) are seen on the 24:17 video alone, at the base of this stairwell, that it seems this is also the main place people first left the building, all of them with a fall. Might be the only place. Those allowed out n the front side, more visibly, climbed down ladders or scaffolding, or sometimes ropes. That doesn't happen back here.

Two important points less ... not sure why I decided that was the stairwell. In fact, the back one has concrete bannisters with stars, different windows and molding, and no bodies actually seen in it. See inset image: both views have the dark areas lightened to see detail, while leaving the glimpses outside intact. This is the same area, overllooking the Trade Union Hall's back (SW) courtyard. Therefore all bodies in a grand (main) stairwell, seen next to iron-bar and (stone rail?) bannisters are in the front main stairwell. That's all stairwell victims I've seen yet (8 on landings, 5 others on or near the stairwell) and also the two possible CW victims. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:29, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

If I may add to my back and forth ... that railing difference refers to the second floor landing only. The updated graphic shows this in relation to the below and the above - it's all one stairwell. There probably is no front one. This is where the charred bodies were seen - landings 3, 4, and 5.(more details coming as needed/possible) --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:02, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Odessa TU Hall Back Stairwell.png

Some explanation: the 2nd floor mix views: top is from this photo enhanced - bottom is from 0:10 in the Euromaidan PR's tactfully branded Russian Terrorists Burnt Alive In Trade Union Building Fire In Odessa Ukraine, May 2 2014. That's what cleared it up, consulting video finally. Filmed by some Syrian snuff film maker on speed, it seems like. Anyway, mapping it out from the end backwards, this starts on the 2nd floor (one body, boy? with metal stuck in his body?), up the stairs. 3rd floor landing, one burned man - third floor, one body - 4th floor landing, the famous scene of five bodies, partly dragged. Turning back, he joins his chaperone and security types - they turn left, walk down the long hall, turn left again, walk down two floors, and out into the back courtyard, north end. So this has to be the back (only) main stairwell. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:06, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Video correlation adds details on the fire and the fallers - my video VS4:

Note: improved version replaces original --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Did they jump? Maybe. Either way, they fell. Some people say they died as they fell, from the toxic gas. Maybe, since they appear dead. Just as likely, several victims beaten to death were tossed downat once to say the pavement beat them. Note: two people outside above the windows at first. The one falls at the sound of gunshots, knocks off the flimsy awning, gets up and runs away. The other comes down later unseen, runs towards camers hands up after another body fell almost right on him as he was surrendering. Tan leather coat - did he avoid a further beating? Note: strange fire characteristics inside, sudden (brief) stop with a "foomp" at the end (it flares back up after that) --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The new video adds a third video (RT) and some notes to explain the above. Further, these two illustrate two problems with the notion of people jumping:
1) even from the lowest window, it's a large-scale building and a daunting drop (the one aims for the awning to break his fall) - not so major at that height, but these people all fall from well above that, with a huge drop no normal person would venture.
2) More important at that level but relevant to all: there's an angry mob down there who might savagely beat anyone they get their hands on.
Another issue is how the three fallers we see fall come, two of them in rapid succession, right after the two men come down, and how they land right next to these guys, possibly even hitting them. Unless this is just coincidence, the fallers almost seem to be motivated by trying to injure these comrades. Or, if someone else is directing their falls, it's the same enemies of these people, using the dead federalists to injure the living (or to almost injure and terrify them). That's a grim thought. And it may only apply to these three of the six or so bodies seen (if it applies at all) - at least three fallers are alive and conscious, and responding to help (still need to do a clear tally). If anyone was tossed, was it everyone? Or did some fall/jump on their own? Or did everyone? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I count ten horizontal bodies, aside from the two low-level jumpers. So no less than that apparently fell. I still see only three people clearly conscious. Also I suppose the person who shouts on impact (1:20) is the second faller in that set, not anyone on the ground. So that's one living person jumped, fell, or tossed. The only reason to presume one has to be dead before getting dropped on someone is that one might live to tell of that crime. But chances are no one down there cared, or he wouldn't live long under their fists and clubs, so even the living can make handy flesh bombs. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

4th floor stairwell fire:

we see its early start, maybe, on the middle staircase up. Later, we see it had blazed, has got a guy hanging dead out the window. Considering the lack of intermediary views, it might have been a very quick fire. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Four photos of stairwell victims I had not seen before, here on Twitter. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing, but they're not new to me. I think those are all from the next day photos by "Alena." Top left, 4th floor landing victims, of course - top right, 5th floor landing guy, with orange globs (a mystery), hands now relaxed to the floor (were handles before) - bottom left 5th-floor victim who died sitting up and puked on the stairs and was leaned back later - "Romeo and Juliet" as "Flagneck" called them, a few meters away on 5th floor. Woman could be Kristina B. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Other Interior Fires

Northeast corner, 2nd floor, early

Odessa TU Hall Fire 2N early.png
In the 24-minute video starting 7:35-7:40 from 3:12 forward one militant (masked) man can be seen out on the 2nd floor ledge (not there at 2:20 - dropped unseen from 3rd floor window suddenly opened, maybe trying to re-enter by a lower window, rather than keep climbing all the way down to the mob. He's eventually removed or escapes (unseen) but for several minutes remains pinned between windows, at the corner immediately above the unused north exit. Molotov cocktails hurled from below easily hit the 2nd floor window and ledge near him at 3:12, 3:42, and 5:49. The first few plus tossed stones cause the window to largely break apart, and the 5:49 toss finally makes it inside the room for bigger cheer than usual. The glow inside, seen briefly (from a video analysis, inset) is short-lived, with following frames darker. Perhaps someone with a fire extinguisher was trapped in that room. Generally, this shows it's difficult to light up the interior of the building with fire tossed from outside, even after the window glass is out of the way. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Some clues say this video starts at 7:28. If so that brief internal fire would be around 7:34 PM. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC) and Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Third floor center

Odessa TU Hall Fires 3rd Center.png
The BBC, apparently thinking "the fire" was only on the tird floor, reported:
It remains unclear how the fire started on the third floor. Pictures clearly showed pro-Ukrainians throwing Molotov cocktails towards the floor. But Serhiy said he saw someone "on the third floor throw a Molotov cocktail through the closed window. However, the glass didn't break and a fire started inside".

This is a recurring charge in pro-Kiev narratives - that fire inside proves the "separatists" or "terrorists" burned themselves by stupid accident. The Telegraph's Oliphant reported:

Witnesses sympathetic to the pro-Maidan movement point out that video footage appears to show the fire beginning on the third floor, behind an intact window - and out of reach of the petrol bombs thrown by the crowd outside. Maybe, they say, a pro-Russian dropped a petrol bomb by accident.

Indeed - The compressed "full video" shows this, at 2:00. Some early cue has them zoom in just in time to see some flames emerge inside. To me, it seems to start with a faint flow, followed right after by a brighter burst. One explanation: two molotov cocktails towards the window, neither one aimed (very well) at it. The first might've hit the left wall low and off-frame, while the second one hit higher just right of the window, helping ignite the left fire further and creating the two patches of fire we can see. If so, that's some compound idiocy to allege. All because the people doing the tossing were inside? Someone needs to read the next section ... Besides, whoever tossed fire into that room, at the last frame before the view pans back out at 2:05, it seems someone else in the room managed to put this fire out quickly. One still frame shows the window suddenly black, and during the zoom out, and after, as far as I can see, it doesn't flare back up. That doesn't happen by itself - someone was in there, a target but with an extinguisher. So whoever targeted them, this fails to explain how "the fire" started.--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

SW corner stairwell, lower

Like the first one, this may be a short-lived fire, but we can see it starting anyway inside the building. In a scene described below, one of the Denis Cherkasov videos shows a molotov cocktail hurled down the stairwell at the same southwest entrance he and many others came in by. This is in the building's south wing, from the second floor to the landing, seen from the first floor. Some steps and the lower wall light up and burn for several seconds at least. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:35, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

South Wing, Upper Floors

Odessa TU Hall Fires southwing 1.png
Odessa TU Hall Fires southwing 2.png
The "full video" at 2:31 shows a rooftop defender near the southeast corner walking towards a new source of smoke, blowing north from somewhere to the south of there (see inset), apparently in the south wing. More glimpses at 3:12 and 3:40 (enhanced, inset in the inset). Smoke is rolling from that smaller wing (with only four floors). From a few brief, dim views, my best guess is several of the corner rooms at this end of the south wing (opposite end from the stairwell fire above) - floors 3 and/or 4 - are burning here. Smoke seems to be coming lighter from the south-facing windows (or even drifting from some other fire to the south/left), and much thicker from the two windows facing forward, and//or the southernmost windows on the main building - floors 3-5, unsure. That's too much sudden smoke pooling to be anything other than interior fire somewhere in there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:47, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Below that at right, a clearer view from Road E-95 23-minute video at 18:14 (zoomed and enhanced), shows at least one spot of the one or more blazing in this corner. South wing, third floor. The bright spots there, on video, wiggle like fire, while the one to the right does not. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Another view of this corner fire can be seen from another distance video on a similar angle to the "full video." This one capture smoke front, back, and side, with a glimpse of the nearly-set sun. Comparing to other azimuths, it seems to be about 294 degrees, or 8:01 PM. Too many pictures already to add that here. And at a certain point, there get to be too many fires to keep track of. This section won't keep trying to catalog them all, just some of these earlier or notable ones. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

2nd floor Fire(s) Near Entrance

There was a call at 7:45 mentioning, for the first time it seems, a fire inside the Trade Union Hall. This specified 2nd floor near the entrance. That could mean a few things, but most likely a fire that appears just left of the main entrance on the second floor. Details not worked out yet, but I've seen it. More in time --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The call, at 19:45:23, informs dispatch "there was already (blank?) thrown in the building and it starts to burn." What was thrown is pretty clear. What "in" means (into, within) not so clear. Asked which floor, the caller specifies second, "with (near?) entrance. (со входа)." As an American, I read this as the one above first (ground floor) but I forgot Europeans often call the second floor the first floor (and first ground). So perhaps this refers to the "third floor" fire above and all is confused? Either way, if it was either of these and not another incident, it seems to be the same thing in both cases. And it seems people refer to the same video when talking about that "third floor" fire. Plus, the video timeline suggests this second one is at about 7:45 and on what I'd call the 2nd floor. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:43, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Unclear what source is described but the counting is straightforward, second floor is the floor number 2 (no "ground floor", it's called the first floor) --Resup (talk) 08:44, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe it was a British thing - I ran into the issue somewhere... thanks. That's how it was seeming. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:41, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Odessa TU Hall Fires 2nd Center.png
Graphics and video coming up, but this fire, seen 2nd window left of the main entrance, 2nd floor (right below the 3rd floor center window covered above) В Одессе штурмуют сепаратистов в Доме профсоюзов ("In Odessa storm separatists in the House of Trade Unions") 9:13 continuous video, apparently runs in the span 7:40-8:00 PM (from how it almost lines up with another longer video by the same guy shot just after, with fire trucks arriving 17 minutes in, when they would arrive around 8:16-8;20, I think - second truck on the scene, number 7 on the door...). This 9-minute video catches about the start of the front door fire, and at about 1;22 1:11 you can see this dark window suddenly light up with flames, and hear an audible glass-on-glass clink. It's swiftly put out, but keeps flaring up mildly over the next minutes. In the next video, by around 8:20, the room inside is all blazing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:43, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Graphic now inset. The clink is accompanied by no tinkles like an external hit would have, followed by a glow saying its inside, and maybe a bit outside too on the left. That and the sound is from a hit to the left vertical bar on the window frame, which lights up inside. The glass chipped out there, letting the sound out, and some flame deflecting left. The initial hit is dynamic, either bouncing right after hitting the wall some feet beck, or this is a better candidate for two gas bombs, one hitting left, one center. But the bounce thing seems to make sense, other than seeming a bit slow (see video VS10, upcoming) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:48, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

The video, VS10, which includes I think an earlier m.c, toss at the same corner of the same window. Hard-hit room.

(and I encourage viewing on Youtube to get the count up) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:24, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Inside Fires Mean What?

Patrick Oliphant, the Telegraph, May 3:

We will probably never know whose petrol bomb began the fire that eventually spread throughout the building, but this inferno ended up killing 32 people.
Witnesses sympathetic to the pro-Maidan movement point out that video footage appears to show the fire beginning on the third floor, behind an intact window - and out of reach of the petrol bombs thrown by the crowd outside. Maybe, they say, a pro-Russian dropped a petrol bomb by accident.
This is a possible explanation. But there is also no doubt that petrol bombs were being hurled in both directions. [3]
Odessa TUHall southeast entry.png
This excellent report full of gathered details and allegations was a little naive about the inside-outside issue; it seemed clear enough that "both directions" seemed a good stand-in for "from both sides." Visually, that last is still true - the rooftop people thought to be "Pro-RussianDefenders do hurl fire down - and fire gunshots, and toss rocks - but there is reason to question who those really were, and even more to question who could be inside the hall, behind a third floor window. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:07, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

As we've learned since then, there were at least two points where the pro-Kiev mob entered the building sometime probably not long after the tent camp was first torched around 7:30 PM (as explained here). Both southern exits were not blocked but turned into mob-secured access points, in before the fires, out as needed after ... The inset composite view from Channel 1 (Russia) shows one entry at which an apparent Pravi Sector member (red-and-black cap) strings barbed wire or razor wire, for unclear reasons. The other entry point is more widely-noted in the Dennis Cherkasov Videos. The south (or SW) entrance had its door jammed open with another door, and dozens to hundreds poured in here as well. Many people were implicated in this pograom... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:07, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Mqdefault 033.jpg
In this Cherkasov videos, the mob can also be seen storming inside the halls, smashing down doors or trying, and dragging out one protesting woman. Another short video shows in his sequence shows fire starting inside a stairwell in the mob's midst (see inset). This is an odd sequence, widely taken as showing they started tis part of it, but it's a bit unclear and perhaps made to be. This and at least one other camera are working on this floor, whichever it is (second floor or higher), but might be banned from going to the next floor up, so we can't see who threw that molotov cocktail at these Maidanistas as they seemingly retreat. Maybe it was supposed to look like the hall's defenders finally pushing them back right before they torched themselves? I mean, who wouldn't try to chase invaders from their refuge by tossing fire at them, inside the flammable refuge? Well, everyone wouldn't want to, so I'm guessing this was staged, by the people then departing. The guy perhaps leading the group, with a motorcycle helmet and Ukrainian flag around his neck, has been identified (see this video) as a militant (unnamed) of some presence that day, from the early clashes to cataloguing the dead that night. He might have overseen the staging. of another fire inside the building. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:38, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Correction: there are only a few stairs down - this is the same slightly-raised "ground floor" he started at. The action comes down from the second floor. The running kid, just one, supports that above here is not open-access. He hits the landing just as the m.c. tossed his way also hits. Right behind is a masked man with a club, who follows the kid to the right-hand doorway to make sure he's stopped snooping, Then he turns back the group otherwise headed by the militant leader who now has his own section as "Flagneck."--Caustic Logic (talk) 09:39, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

The third floor interior fire that goes out right away, and the above points, dramatized into a new video I took maybe too seriously? Odessa May 2 Massacre VS9 - Third Floor Fire, An Inside Job?

--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Victims Burned Later?

Being actually burned to death, even in a burning building, is only so common. People will try to escape fire, and do well enough the smoke winds up doing them in instead. Usually the fire burns their dead bodies, if anything. But here in the Odessa massacre crime scene there are a few details suggesting these were deliberately and individually burned after death, likely in an attempt at coverup, and/or to sow the idea that, as Euromaidan PR's video puts it, the "Russian terrorists" were "burned alive." instead of, say, bludgeoned and shot to death before burning away the evidence. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:23, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Odessa Victims 4landing 4.png
Odessa Victims 4landing 1.png
Of all the bodies seen in or right at the stairwell (at least 11) only five are widely shown, and those are the badly charred ones. Correlating lots of photos and some video, it seems these are on the 4th floor landing (just above the 3rd floor), where seen mostly in one set of positions, the two shown dragged a little ways down the stairs - but were originally in a different arrangement (composite view below) - those two flat on the landing, the others how they are, with one victim originally hanging out the window, as if he died in the act of climbing out (later seen back inside, laid in the corner). --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:23, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

In both views, we can see at least two victims - those same ones shown in the top inset - display rigor mortis, and signs of being dragged by the arms after it had set in. That is, they were dragged here before they were dragged the second time. According to Wikipedia, rigor mortis onset is usually 2-6 hours after death (a bit faster in warm conditions - like a fire), usually reaching maximum stiffness after 12 hours and relaxing slowly thereafter. By this, anyone killed at around 8 PM would be rigid from 10 PM forward for more than a day. The arms being flexible enough to take this position suggests it wasn' too far in - probably before midnight - and the burning (contracts muscles) helped lock the position. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:23, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Below, video clues suggest the burning was done as early as about 8:10 PM, quite possibly later, but probably no later two about 9:45. This to a building assault beginning at roughly 7:30. And to add, totes on the 2-hour rule for rigor mortis, asie from it not being an exact rule to begin with:
  1. less time than usual might be required in this case; rigor mortis onset is accelerated by heat, and there was very much heat unleashed in parts of the Trade Union hall that evening.
  2. It's possible the victims were somehow killed earlier in the day, either by a forward group at the TUH, or transported there. Onset would then have to be measured against that time, not the known assault. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Odessa Victims 4landing shot.png
The pile of junk barricade seen here on the right might make sense for building defenders to make, to keep the 4th floor lightly shielded. But it seems (from the limited views here) to block only one side, which would do no good. This could have been made by the scene-arrangers to tell a story (of stupid barricade-making?). In the one case, furthest to the right, it almost seems the debris was piled onto the victim's head (unclear).

The other victim, furthest down the stairs, has a burnt face and hands, and it seems separately had fire set to his mid-torso. It burned away his shirt and lap of his pants, ignited some belly fat, and then just bubbled up his abdomen for a while and fizzled out. When the fire punched a neat bullet-looking hole in his right chest is not so clear. Sometime before rigor mortis set in, and before he was burned. ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:59, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

The horribly charred body nearest the railing was perhaps carried here (face-down) by two people, one holding each wrist. That one was apparently burned already, making the second burn a little too efficient; he (or she) stands out from the others who supposedly died right here from not-the-mob. In the original arrangement, the one hanging out the window raises questions. Supposedly he passed out just then from the chloroform and had the fire burn away his pants and melt the soles of his shoes. I imagine there is no visual match from the outside of a guy hanging out the window while a fire rage - perhaps it was too dark by then? How long after the above photos did he try to climb out? Or was he just put there and burned at a later time? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:59, 7 September 2014 (UTC) (and face-down note added Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC))

On the last point there ... this video I'd never seen before, 21:00, shows a slightly later scene where that guy is hanging out of just that window, as fire rages. Found the video and the stills used here] with many screen grabs and notes in Russian (will be citing for other points). Firemen on a small ladder try to extinguish him with some water spreyed up (no truck yet...) So, this victim anyway was not planted later, but put himself there, or was planted, during the blaze. But he's not one of those with arms sticcking up or out like handles on luggage. Although the scene seems mixed, that point remains the same. If they were dragged and burned at this time, around 8-8:30, they must have been murdered hours earlier.
Odessa TU Hall Fires Windowvictim.png

To note, most victims showing any burning tend to be to the head and upper body - some have heads only blackened by some specific flash-fire aimed right there (noses are sometimes burned away). However, those same often have hands even more burned, down to the bone (see here), as well as red-burned skin everywhere it was exposed (waistline, etc.) So this apparent clue might be related instead to something they were hit with when alive and still shielding their faces, and not related to post-morten torching. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:23, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Previous discussion of this concept, from May: File talk:Odessa burnt bodies.jpg - on a photo I stilla haven't found confirmation for - not certain it even belongs. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:59, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Odessa fires stairwell late.png
There's no steady cam on the stairwell al night, but a brief overhead view with a pro TV news camera is available. This Channel 1 ( video, filmed (starting at?) 9:55 PM by the title, looks slightly down from a high fire ladder or crane into those windows, with the one victim still hanging out on the right. Firefighters are working the landing, with others descending from there. A strangely bright and energetic fire continues high up and to the left - corresponding perhaps to the pile of debris "barricade" on the right (as seen from inside). The firefighters don't do anything to extinguish this. Is it just some kind of gas lamp for lighting? Seems a bit extreme if so ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Note how they're bending down as if doing special work on something on the floor, like the other four bodies would be. Suggested is a no-later-than planting and apparently burning time for those. At just before 10 PM it's a rather late time; we can see firefighters put out the one victim as a first order of business around 8:15 PM, and the Rada report says the overall building fire was declared extinguished by 8:50 PM. So what are they just now doing, an hour later, in about the spot they started at almost two hours ago? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

For what it's worth, if these other four bodies were placed and torched after the one scene and shortly before this one - say at 9:30 - it could mean they're early massacre victims from about 7:30-7:45, with time for rigor mortis to set in. (the audio track there includes a victim's ringing cell phone, but that's carryover audio from the following scene of an un-burnt victim in another stairwell.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)


  1. 38 minutes late: Report reveals firefighters' delayed response to deadly Odessa blaze RT, August 9, 2014
  2. "Капкан для двоих" ("The trap for two") By Юлия Полухина (Julia Polukhin), Novaya Gazeta, July 2, 2014.
  3. Ukraine crisis: death by fire in Odessa as country suffers bloodiest day since the revolution The Telegraph. By Roland Oliphant in Odessa 6:36PM BST 03 May 2014 (by-line: Roland Oliphant pieces together the tragic events which claimed 42 lives, including 32 pro-Russian protesters who died in a blazing building. )