"The justification of the punitive operation by those who only a few months ago would not let the legitimate president, Viktor Yanukovych, restore order using legal means, are the highest manifestation of cynicism, he said."
Moscow, May 3 - Russia said Saturday it would be ludicrous to hold presidential elections in Ukraine amid the rising tension and growing violence in the country.

After what happened in Odessa, against the background of the unwinding spiral of confrontation in the country's southeast, we do not understand what elections Kiev, European capitals and Washington are talking about, Xinhua quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

He accused Ukrainian authorities of being direct accomplices in the events in Odessa, in which at least 46 people were killed and over 170 others injured when pro- and anti-government protestors clashed Friday, saying their hands are full of blood.

Among the dead, mostly pro-Russia protestors, 30 were choked to death when radicals set fire to a trade union building, while eight others died as a result of jumping out of windows to escape the burning building.

Peskov said President Vladimir Putin extended his deep condolences to victims and families of the dead, but said Russia had not yet decided upon a response as this element is absolutely new to us.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said Moscow had received thousands of calls requesting Russian assistance from southeast Ukraine, and pledged to further the de-escalation efforts.

Peskov also said that Moscow regretted that Western leaders have completely different views on the situation in Ukraine to that of Russia.

The justification of the punitive operation by those who only a few months ago would not let the legitimate president, Viktor Yanukovych, restore order using legal means, are the highest manifestation of cynicism, he said.

Ukraine launched a major attack against pro-Russian forces around the eastern city of Sloviansk in the early hours of Friday, a move Russia said would destroy all hopes of fulfilling the Geneva agreement reached April 17.


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