- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2014

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said Sunday that while Russia is exercising influence across eastern Ukraine, there’s no evidence the country was directly involved in the most recent spate of violence over the weekend.

Dozens were killed in Odessa in southern Ukraine over the weekend after a violent clash between demonstrators on both sides culminated in dozens of pro-Russia supporters ending up inside a building set ablaze.

The context of the deadly incident “suggests that somebody wanted this violence to explode the way it did,” Mr. Pyatt said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“At this point, the whole country is trying to figure out what happened, how to pull together, and how to make sure that those who would try to divide the country will not be successful,” he said.

Mr. Pyatt said that while Russia is “exercising influence” across eastern Ukraine, there’s no evidence of the country’s direct involvement in what happened in Odessa.