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Ukraine PM appeals for unity after Odessa tragedy

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A child walks carrying a shield back dropped by police troops guarding the burnt trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday, May 3, 2014, where more than 30 people died trying to escape during clashes the day before. Odessa had been largely tranquil since the February toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia. But clashes erupted Friday between pro-Russians and government supporters in the key port on the Black Sea coast, located 550 kilometers (330 miles) from the turmoil in the east. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A child walks carrying a shield back dropped by police troops guarding the burnt trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday, May 3, 2014, where more than 30 people died trying to escape during clashes the day before. Odessa had been largely tranquil since the February toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia. But clashes erupted Friday between pro-Russians and government supporters in the key port on the Black Sea coast, located 550 kilometers (330 miles) from the turmoil in the east. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Pro-Russian protesters break up the words “Ukrainian the Security Service” next to the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 3, 2014, which has been captured to honor the memory of fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday. In Donetsk, the largest city in the insurgent east, demonstrators who stormed the local office of the Ukrainian Security Service on Saturday evening shouted “We will not forgive Odessa.” No police were deployed to block the building takeover. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Pro-Russian activists burn security documents seized when mobs stormed the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 3, 2014, which has been captured to honor the memory of fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday. In Donetsk, the largest city in the insurgent east, demonstrators who stormed the local office of the Ukrainian Security Service on Saturday evening shouted “We will not forgive Odessa.” No police were deployed to block the building takeover. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A disabled person goes over the bridge on a wheelchair at a pro-Russian insurgent checkpoint that has been used to block access to a road leading to Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 3, 2014. Local nearby residents say Ukrainian government troops opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters on this spot, where discarded shells and pools of blood could be seen. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Denmark’s minister for defense Nicolai Waamen, left), Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky, 2nd right, and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, 3rd right, and two other military observers listen as German head of foreign military observers, Col. Axel Schneider, 3rd left, talks to the media in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 3, 2014, after being released in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine. The group of military observers were held in captivity accused of being NATO spies by a pro-Russian insurgency group. The German-led, eight-member team was traveling under the auspices of the OSCE when they were detained. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt)

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ODESSA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s prime minister on Sunday visited the city where a horrific blaze killed dozens of pro-Russian demonstrators during political riots — seeking to defuse mounting tensions by calling the deaths a “tragedy for all Ukraine.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk said police were being investigated for their failure to maintain order in Friday’s violence, while hinting strongly that he sees Moscow’s hand in the events.

“This is not a tragedy only for Odessa,” Yatsenyuk said. “This is a tragedy for all Ukraine.”

The prime minister said he has charged prosecutors with “finding all instigators, all organizers and all those that under Russian leadership began a deadly attack on Ukraine and Odessa.”

More than 40 people died in the unrest — some from gunshot wounds, but most in a fire that tore through a trade union building.

Odessa is the major city between the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in March, and the Moldovan separatist region of Trans-Dniester where Russia has a military peacekeeping contingent. Concerns are mounting that Russia ultimately aims to take control of a huge swath of Ukraine from Trans-Dniester to the east.

Yatsenyuk’s visit came as Ukrainian authorities renewed their push to quell a pro-Russian insurgency in the east. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement on his Facebook page that an “antiterrorist operation” was being executed in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, the latest flashpoint for unrest.

“The operation was carried out by fighters of the National Guard and the armed forces. The active phase resumed at dawn. We will not stop,” Avakov wrote.

The city saw a standoff Saturday that culminated in pro-Russian insurgents setting buses alight to ward off attacks. Russian state television has reported 10 deaths, including two among government forces, during clashes in Kramatorsk so far. Those figures could not be independently confirmed.

By midday Sunday, however, there was little sign of movement, from either government or insurgents on the ground.

The burned-out shells of trolleybuses and a minibus lay in the road untouched.

At least 12 government armored personnel carriers were spotted driving through the town Saturday, although they appeared to have returned to their base at a military airfield on the edge of the city by day’s end.

Opposing sides of the Ukraine conflict have traded bitter recriminations over the mass deaths that followed hours of bloody rioting on Friday in Odessa.

The clash began with street fighting in which at least three people were reported killed by gunfire, then turned into a grisly conflagration when government opponents took refuge in a trade union building that caught fire as opposing sides hurled Molotov cocktails at one another.

The city’s police chief, Petr Lutsyuk, on Saturday issued a statement calling for calm in the city of about 1 million, but hours later he was fired by the Interior Minister.

The fate of those killed in the

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