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04May14


US diplomat: there is no evidence of Russia's involvement in Odessa massacre


There is no evidence of Russia's involvement in the Friday massacre in Odessa, U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt had to admit Sunday as he spoke by telephone on a CNN program.

Friday, May 2, football fans who had come to Odessa from the northeast city of Kharkov as well as the combatants from two far-right extremist organizations, the Right Sector and the Maidan Self-Defense Force clashed with the supporters of federalization of Ukraine in downtown Odessa. They set fire to the regional House of the Trade Unions and a tent camp near it where activists had been gathering signatures in favor of a referendum for federalization of Ukraine and for granting Russian the status of a second state language.

As a result of the tragic events, 46 people died and more than 200 survivors had to turn for medical aid.

"We don't have evidence of the Russian role in [] the tragedy that transpired on Friday," Pyatt said answering the anchor Candy Crowley's downright aggressive question on whether he believed that Russia was behind "this bloodiest day thus far in this back-and-forth [the course of the Ukrainian crisis - Itar-Tass]".

Pyatt mentioned the blunt accusations towards Russia that the prime minister of the incumbent Kiev government, Arseny Yatsenyuk, had made in Odessa earlier in the day.

"And this is something that we hope an impartial and systematic investigation will be able to get to the bottom of very quickly," he said.

Pyatt indicated that he could not understand clearly why the Friday massacre had taken place.

" [] having spent some time in Odessa just three weeks ago and spoken with a broad range of political and civil society leaders, there's nothing that I heard and saw while I was in that city which would explain what transpired on Friday night," Pyatt indicated.

"At this point, the whole country is trying to figure out what happened, how to pull together, and how to make sure that those who are trying to divide the country will not be successful," he said.

"Most disturbingly, there seems to be evidence in social media that some of the police in Odessa may have been complicit in allowing the violence to explode out of control way it did," Pyatt said, rushing to praise Yatsenyuk's subsequent actions, as "he's already brought some major changes in the security leadership there in Odessa []".

He described Ukraine as "a society which is facing extraordinary threats and division."

"But the dominant mood in the country is, how do we end this violence and how do we pull the country together again?" Pyatt claimed.

[Source: Itar Tass, New York, 04May14]

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