13:40 GMT: RT
Russian internet giant Yandex has apologized for the remarks of the head of Yandex.Urkaine, Sergey Petrenko, who seemingly hailed the May-2 Odessa massacre by saying that “All is good [now]. The city has been practically cleansed of separatists,” in a discussion on his Facebook page.
According to Yandex’ press-service, Petrenko’s remarks, which have caused outrage online, “is not our official position, it is, certainly, his personal and emotional statement,” adding that the particular quote has also been taken out of discussion’s context.
“We would like to express our sincere condolences to all the relatives and loved ones of the people who died in Odessa, and once again apologize for the situation,” the press-service said.
Hate speech has been on the rise in Russian-Ukrainian discussions on social networks, and the tragic Friday events sparked both anti-Ukrainian and anti-Russian rhetoric online. To downplay the pro-Kiev radicals’ responsibility for the death of some 40 anti-government activists, many, including Petrenko, have blamed the deceased for “calls for unrest and violence,” “provocations” and “rallying under foreign flags,” claiming they caused the incident themselves.