Detainees Freed After Police Headquarters Blockade in Odessa
Some 67 people detained for participating in violent clashes were released Sunday after pro-Russian protesters stormed the police headquarters in Odessa, demanding they be let go.
“Based on the decision taken by Odessa's regional prosecutor's office and due to the demands of the protesters, 67 people previously detained for participating in mass disturbances on May 2nd in Odessa were released Sunday," said a statement on the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's website.
The local prosecutor's office immediately denied it was involved in the decision, the CNN reports. The choice to release the detainees, it said in a statement, was made by police after officers failed to fulfill their duties. The prosecutor's office said it has opened a criminal investigation into their actions.
Some 170 people were arrested after over 40 were killed in a fire and street clashes between rival supporters of Russian and Ukrainian authorities.
Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, visiting Odessa, has accused Russia of orchestrating the violence, the Euronews informs.
Yatsenyuk blamed the security service and law enforcement office for doing nothing to stop the crackdown, adding that the unrest had been provoked by pro-Russian groups. Ukraine's Prime Minister described the security service in Odessa as inefficient, stressing that it had violated the law.
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