Ukraine unrest: PM blames security service over Odessa

Ukraine’s PM has blamed the country’s security services for failing to stop violence in the southern city of Odessa that left more than 40 people dead, the BBC informs. Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the BBC there would be “full, comprehensive and independent investigation”.  Most of the victims were pro-Russian separatists who died in a fire after barricading themselves in a building.
The PM’s comments came as Ukrainian troops surrounded the pro-Russian stronghold of Sloviansk in the east.
Mr Yatsenyuk said of the Odessa violence: “I personally blame the security service and law enforcement office for doing nothing to stop this crackdown.”
Some 42 people died in Odessa on Friday, most of them in the fire at the Trade Unions House, where separatist protesters had barricaded themselves following running battles with pro-Kiev activists. Mr Yatsenyuk blamed pro-Russian groups for “provoking the unrest”. He accused Russia and pro-Russian protesters of orchestrating “real war… to eliminate Ukraine and eliminate Ukrainian independence”.
Gunfire was reported overnight in Kostyantynivka, where one separatist checkpoint was dismantled, and Mariupol as Ukrainian forces tried to reclaim government offices. There had been heavy fighting in the town of Kramatorsk on Saturday.
In another development, seven international military observers taken captive in eastern Ukraine a week ago have been released, according to the BBC. Five Ukrainian officers captured with the observers, who are linked to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, were also freed. Pro-Russian separatists in the town of Sloviansk say they released the OSCE observers “without conditions”.
Romanian Foreign Ministry salutes OSCE observers’ release
In a communique issued on Saturday, the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) is saluting the release of OSCE observers, including the captured Ukrainian officers. MAE had expressed concern regarding the incident which it called as unacceptable and regrettable MAE further calls on all OSCE countries to take the necessary measures to avoid such problems in the future, the release informs.
Obama-Merkel warn
On Friday US president Barack Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday warned Russia that sanctions targeting whole sections of the country’s economy would be inevitable unless Moscow de-escalates the situation in Ukraine before elections later this month, The Guardian informs.
Appearing together at the White House, Obama and Merkel insisted they were united in their determination to use broad, so-called “sectoral sanctions” against Russia unless it reverses course in Ukraine by the elections on May 25.

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