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Ukrainian Party Demands Resignation of Acting President

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Ukraine’s Party of Regions has demanded the immediate resignation of acting President Oleksander Turchynov and several government officials, the head of the Donetsk regional organization of the party said Tuesday.

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Party of Regions has demanded the immediate resignation of acting President Oleksander Turchynov and several government officials, the head of the Donetsk regional organization of the party said Tuesday.

“The Party of Regions imposes full responsibility for the punitive operation in the east of the country, for the people who were burnt alive in Odessa by the acting Commander-in-Chief Mr. Turchinov, Interior Minister Avakov and the head of Ukraine’s Security Service Valentin Nalivaychenko. We demand their immediate resignation,” Mykola Levchenko told journalists.

A closed session of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is underway in Kiev, where Sergei Kaplin, a lawmaker from the opposition Udar party, also claimed the session is likely not only to criticize the actions of the acting president and acting Interior Minister, but to demand their resignation.

“Why is it [Verkhovna Rada session] closed? That’s for the people not to hear the criticism against Turchynov and Avakov,” Kaplin told Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency.

Kaplin added that the initiative of another Ukrainian lawmaker, Anatoly Gritsenko, to terminate Turchynov’s appointment is likely to be raised at the meeting today.

“We don’t need a 'leader' of the Verkhovna Rada, we need a president of the country who would head the anti-terrorist campaign,” Kaplin said, adding that the interim president and the acting interior minister form a sort of a tandem.

On May 2, Ukraine saw the bloodiest violence since the February overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, with dozens killed in clashes across the country. The highest casualty toll was seen in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, where clashes broke out between federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams, joined by Euromaidan activists, on the other.

Pro-Kiev radicals blockaded the anti-government protesters in the building of the House of Trade Unions, setting it on fire. Dozens burned to death or died of smoke inhalation, while others jumped out of windows.

According to official data, at least 40 “anti-Maidan” activists died in the fire. The city’s Prosecutor’s Office said a total of 46 people died in Friday’s violence and almost 200 others sustained injuries.

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