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Unrest in Odessa continues as Russia urges intra-Ukraine dialogue

English.news.cn   2014-05-05 14:28:25
 • Anti-government protesters Sunday stormed the police HQ in Odessa, freed dozens of their jailed allies.
 • The new violence happened after Friday's clashes that killed at least 43 people and injured 174 others.
 • It was the worst violence since the new gov't came to power more than two months ago.


KIEV, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of anti-government protesters on Sunday stormed the police headquarters in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa and freed dozens of their jailed allies.

The new violence happened after Friday's deadly clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters that killed at least 43 people and injured 174 others in the city.

Among the dead, mostly pro-Russia protesters, 30 were suffocated when radicals set fire to a trade union building, while eight others died after jumping out of windows of the burning building.

It was the worst violence in the Ukrainian crisis since the new government came to power more than two months ago.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Sunday that Russia should be responsible for the deadly clashes.

"Russia's aim was to repeat in Odessa what is happening in the east of the country," Yatsenyuk told reporters during a visit to Odessa.

"What happened in Odessa was part of a plan by the Russian Federation to destroy Ukraine and its statehood," he said, "Russia sent people here to create chaos."

Kiev has repeatedly blamed Moscow for inciting unrest and splitting Ukraine. Russia denies all the charges.

In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said Sunday that Kiev needed help to establish a dialogue with pro-Russia activists in southeastern Ukraine.

"It appears that without external help the Kiev authorities are not capable of establishing such a dialogue," Karasin told Rossiya-24 television.

He said steps would soon be taken to bring a dialogue about, without giving further details.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, reiterated the necessity of establishing a direct dialogue between Kiev and the southeastern regions.

"Putin and Merkel pointed out the importance of efficacious international measures and, in the first place, the ones steered by the OSCE, to scale down the tensions in Ukraine," the Kremlin press service said.

Russia on Sunday also urged the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe to immediately evaluate the situation in Ukraine in an objective manner.

"At a time when Ukrainian punitive squads are conducting their operations in eastern Ukraine cleansing some communities and blocking others, the West has imposed an actual information blockade on the tragic developments taking place in that country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Even in OSCE circles, Moscow said, nobody knew blood was shed and troops were shooting at unarmed people in Ukraine.

"We demand that the relevant institutions of OSCE and the Council of Europe immediately give an objective evaluation of the developments in Ukraine," it added.

Given the escalating violence in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a second conference in Geneva to settle the Ukraine crisis, German television channel ARD reported on Sunday.

In the ARD report, Steinmeier said: "I advocate that the first meeting in Geneva now should be followed by a second meeting in Geneva, during which clear appointments will be met on how to bring this conflict to a halt and how to lead the conflict to a political solution."

Steinmeier said he had held "many talks in the past hours" on a new international conference on Ukraine with his U.S. and Russian counterparts, John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, as well as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"The tragedy of Odessa must actually be a wake-up call for all of us," said Steinmeier, "We must now make every effort again to come back to the Geneva agreement."

In addition, Steinmeier expressed his hope that the OSCE could play a greater role in the conflict in the future.

It was right to rely on the OSCE as a neutral organization in the conflict, and the organization would be accepted by all parties, said Steinmeier.

"It was clear to me that we need to strengthen the OSCE and that we can entrust them with other tasks for the mediation in Ukraine," said Steinmeier.

Related:

German FM proposes second Geneva meeting to settle Ukraine crisis

BERLIN, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Given the escalating violence in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a second conference in Geneva to settle the Ukraine crisis, German television channel ARD reported on Sunday.

In the ARD report from Berlin, Steinmeier said: "I advocate that the first meeting in Geneva now should be followed by a second meeting in Geneva, during which clear appointments will be met on how to bring this conflict to a halt and how to lead the conflict to a political solution."   Full story

Ukrainian PM accuses Russia of plotting clashes in Odessa

KIEV, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia should be responsible for the deadly clashes that killed more than 40 people in the southern port city of Odessa, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Sunday.

"Russia's aim was to repeat in Odessa what is happening in the east of the country," Yatsenyuk told reporters during a visit to Odessa.   Full story

Editor: chengyang
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