May 19, 2014 / 4:52 PM / in 5 years

Russia calls on U.N., OSCE for impartial probe of Ukraine deaths

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has called on international organizations to ensure an “open and impartial” investigation by Kiev into deaths during riots in the Ukrainian city of Odessa this month, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

At least 37 people in the southern Ukrainian port city died after a riot on May 2 ended with dozens of pro-Russian protesters trapped in a burning building. The incident, blamed by Moscow on Kiev authorities and their backers in the West, was a factor in driving rebellion in the country’s south eastern regions.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appealed to representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations “with a call to guarantee an open and impartial investigation by the Kiev authorities into the tragedy in Odessa,” a statement said.

The European Union has also called for an independent investigation into the deaths in Odessa, which Kiev said was provoked by illegal military groups from Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria and Russian groups.

Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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