US considers unacceptable violence that has left dozens of people dead in Odessa, Ukraine’s third largest city, and urges the Ukrainian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice, said State Department spokesman Marie Harf.
“The violence and mayhem that led to so many senseless deaths and injuries is unacceptable. We call on all sides to work together to restore calm and law and order, and we call on the Ukrainian authorities to launch a full investigation and to bring all those responsible to justice,” she said, adding that “the violence and efforts to destabilize the country must end.”
On Friday evening, Kiev accused Russian security services of involvement in the Odessa disturbances. A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti that Moscow found these statements “delirium”. The State Department spokesman did not mention Russia at all.
Violent clashes erupted Friday in Odessa, which previously took no active part in the unrest that swept a number of eastern Ukrainian cities. Four people were confirmed dead and 37 injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of federalization.
Pro-Kiev radicals moved later to the Kulikovo Pole square and destroyed the tent camp of anti-government activists that was set up there. After some of the activists barricaded themselves in the Trade Unions House overlooking the square, the radicals set the building ablaze.
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, “38 people died as a result of the fire in the trade union building in Odessa. 30 of them were asphyxiated by smoke and 8 died when jumped out of windows in an attempt to save their lives.” Overall, according to the authorities, more than 40 people died and more than 170 were injured during the clashes in Odessa.