KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said Wednesday a judge who sentenced activists to house arrest was shot and killed near his home in central Ukraine.
The government said Alexander Lobodenko died Wednesday after getting shot twice in the back. He recently sentenced political activists to house arrest and police suspect the attack was a response to his judicial actions, Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
A November decision by the Ukrainian government to back away from the European Union to protect Kiev's economic ties to Russia sparked widespread protests in the former Soviet republic.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said Friday it suspected fringe activists may be resorting to terrorism during the country's ongoing political crises
The U.S. House of Representative this week passed a resolution calling on all parties to the political confrontation to work toward a peaceful resolution.
Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the resolution comes at a "decisive moment" for Ukraine.
"This protest movement has since become a struggle between those who want a democratic future based on the rule of law for Ukraine and those who are prepared to use violence to turn back the clock," he said in a statement.