UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday called for an "immediate end" to the violence in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, where deadly clashes have caused heavy casualties.
A statement issued here by his spokesperson said Ban continued to follow developments in Ukraine with increasing alarm. "He urges an immediate end to the violence in the strongest terms and again stresses that resorting to such measures by any side is totally unacceptable."
Protests in Ukraine, which began last November to back the country's European integration, turned violent in mid-January.
On Tuesday and in the early hours of Wednesday, at least 26 people died in street clashes between the riot police and protesters in Kiev. The confrontation also left 263 protesters and 342 officers injured.
"The Secretary-General equally urges the government to desist from the use of excessive force, underscoring the need for the authorities to abide by international human rights norms," the statement said.
While reiterating his call for the immediate renewal of genuine, constructive dialogue to resolve the worsening political and security crisis, Ban appealed to the Ukrainian authorities to act decisively in brokering a peaceful end to the crisis in a way that is in keeping with the demands and the aspirations of the Ukrainian people, according to the statement.