Russia slams Kiev over Odessa deaths

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Russia slams Kiev over Odessa deaths

… with …  Press TV, Tehran

–  First published  May 3, 2014 

Nearly 40 people died in the Odessa fire.
Nearly 40 people died in the Odessa fire.

Russia has censured pro-Western authorities in Kiev as ‘criminally irresponsible’ following a deadly fire in the trade union building in Ukraine’s Odessa.

On Friday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that nearly 40 people died in the fire. Thirty of the victims were asphyxiated by smoke and eight died when they jumped out the windows in an attempt to save their lives.

Moscow said later that the deadly incident was “another manifestation of the criminal irresponsibility of the Kiev authorities.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also accused the “authorities” of “indulging radical nationalists, including Right Sector” who in turn were “organizing physical terror campaigns against supporters of federalization.”

Ukraine has not commented on Moscow’s stance yet.

Moscow also called on Kiev and its “Western backers to end what it calls the anarchy and take responsibility before the Ukrainian people.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said many protesters died on Friday during an offensive against the eastern city of Slavyansk.

Kiev confirmed on the same day that pro-Russia activists shot down two Ukraine army helicopters near Slavyansk. Fatalities were also reported.

Near the city of Yasynuvata, the Donetsk region, pro-Russia protesters seized a rail control center.

Over a dozen cities in eastern Ukraine including Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk and Horlivka are under the control of pro-Russia protesters.

The protests gained momentum in Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from the former Soviet state and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.

Editing:  Erica P. Wissinger

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