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Rise of fascism in Ukraine is being ignored by Europe, says Russia

Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov called a fire at a trade union building in Odessa that killed 42 people as “pure fascism”

Image: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

RUSSIA HAS ACCUSED Europe of ignoring the rise of “fascism” in Ukraine and demanded a full investigation into the death of dozens of pro-Kremlin activists in Odessa violence last week.

“For many years, Europe has been turning a blind eye to how fascism has been gaining new supporters, how its proponents are recruiting new followers,” news agencies quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying at a public reception in Moscow.

“What happened in Odessa on May 2 is pure fascism,” said Lavrov

We will not allow the facts to be swept under the carpet, as the ruling coalition is now trying to do.

A blaze at a trade union building in the southern Ukrainian port city left 42 people dead — mostly pro-Russian militants — after running battles with supporters of the new government in Kiev.

Ukraine’s pro-Western interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenkyuk has accused Russia of planning the riots that resulted in the deaths.

Meanwhile, the United States has said that Russia is plotting to annex more of Ukraine’s territory via a “bogus” referendum as Moscow rejected a new peace initiative ahead of talks with the pan-European OSCE.

Western leaders including French President Francois Hollande warned that skirmishing in Ukraine’s east could trigger all-out civil war, and see a May 25 presidential poll as crucial to hauling the country back from the brink.

Ukraine Source: AP/Press Association Images

But pro-Moscow rebels plan their own vote Sunday in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, which US Secretary of State John Kerry said mirrored what happened with Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March when it voted to join Russia.

“This is really the Crimea playbook all over again, and no civilized nation is going to recognize the results of such a bogus effort,” Kerry told reporters.

“We flatly reject this illegal effort to further divide Ukraine.

“We are not going to sit idly by while Russian elements fan the flames of instability instead of fulfilling the commitments that we made,” Kerry added, insisting that Putin was “calling all the shots”.

Kiev and its Western backers believe Moscow is trying to ensure the referendum goes ahead in a bid to sow chaos ahead of the nationwide presidential elections two weeks later.

© AFP 2014

Read: More than 30 pro-Russian rebels killed in Ukraine as violence escalates >

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