May 3, 2014
The EU said Saturday it is “deeply saddened” by violence in Ukraine’s Odessa and called for an independent investigation into the tragic deaths.
“The facts which led to this tragic loss of so many human lives must now be established in an independent investigation and those responsible for these criminal acts brought to justice,” the EU said in an official statement.
Over 40 people were killed and another 200 were injured in clashes in Odessa and fire at the city’s Trade Unions House on Friday, where anti-Maidan activists were hiding from radicals.
“This should be a moment of reflection for everyone and an occasion for all Ukrainians to come together and to find ways to overcome the artificially fuelled divisions over the last months. All political forces must now assume their responsibility and engage in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue to find a joint way out of the crisis,” the EU said.
The EU also called on all conflicting sides in Ukraine “to exercise utmost restraint and not to exploit this tragedy to fuel more hatred, division and senseless violence.”
Ukraine underwent a regime change resembling a military coup on February 22. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25. Moscow has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of these actions.