#AceNewsServices – KIEV – May 15 – The United States says it is alarmed by the worsening crisis in Ukraine as interim authorities in Kiev have ordered military operations against pro-Russian protesters in both eastern and southern Ukraine.
“We remain extremely concerned by the deteriorating situation in both eastern and southern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militants who are armed have escalated their already violent behaviour and taken over additional government buildings in yet more towns,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday.
Carney added that the “violence and mayhem” in the south-western port city of Odessa was “unacceptable” and said the battles “dramatically underscore the need for an immediate de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine.”
“We’re going to continue to call on Russia to live up to its commitments in Geneva and to use its influence over these groups, these pro-Russian militant groups, to urge them to disarm and to instead engage in Ukraine’s political process,” he stated.
A fire at Odessa’s Trade Unions House on Friday led to at least 46 deaths that had sheltered opponents of the US-backed interim government of Ukraine.
According to reports, members of neo-Nazi Right Sector set the building on fire in Odessa. The victims were burnt alive within the premises and video footage showed bloodied and wounded survivors being attacked by the extremists.
Meanwhile, the death toll from a military offensive against pro-Russian activists in the eastern town of Slavyansk rose to at least 34 on Tuesday. A day before, the protesters reportedly shot down a Ukrainian helicopter in fierce fighting near Slavyansk.
On April 17, Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union agreed in Geneva over steps to “de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
But, Ukrainian authorities have ordered a military offensive against the protesters, claiming that Russian special forces are fueling unrest in the country.
Moscow has dismissed as “nonsense” claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov admitted that security forces are “helpless” to quell unrest in the country.
According to a report published on Sunday in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation are helping the interim authorities in Kiev to end the crisis.
The newspaper, citing unnamed German security sources, reported that dozens of CIA and FBI agents are involved in the offensive against the pro-Russian activists.
Earlier this year, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland disclosed that Washington has “invested” about $5 billion in “promoting democracy” in Ukraine over the past two decades.
In early February, Nuland visited Ukraine and held meetings with anti-Kremlin politicians who organized anti-government protests that led to the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s democratically-elected president.