"India expresses its sincere condolences to the people of Ukraine on the recent tragic loss of life in Odessa. India is deeply concerned at the escalating crisis in Ukraine that is marked by an increasing number of violent incidents,” the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

"India once again urges all sides to abjure violence and seek a political and diplomatic solution that builds on recent agreements and takes into account the legitimate interests of all concerned," the spokesperson added.

According to reports, over 40 people have died in less than a week in the southern port city of Odessa, where clashes culminated in a deadly inferno last Friday. Most of those killed were pro-Russian fighters and activists, the reports say.

Concerned that Odessa could be the next region to fall to pro-Russia forces, the Kiev government has launched a military offensive to quell a pro-Russian insurgency in the east.

Kiev authorities announced they had dismissed the acting governor in Odessa and replaced him with Member of Parliament, Ihor Palytsya. Odessa's police chief was also removed over the weekend, according to reports.


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