Ukrainian army and Right Sector exchange accusations of provocation

Right Sector picketing the Presidential Administration in Kiev today (more pictures at Unian).

Hundreds of Right Sector ‘ultra-nationalist’ activists gathered outside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s administrative building in Kiev Wednesday, carrying the red-and-black flag of the organization and chanting anti-government slogans.

The protest was organized in opposition to the dismantling of so-called ‘volunteer units’ in the country’s east, including Right Sector units reportedly operating in Dnepropetrovsk. Speaking at the event, the group’s information Chief Artem Skoropadsky warned the Right Sector will not surrender their weapons and will defend themselves according to the “laws of war.” He added that the rally will last until “the presidential administration is burned to the ground.”

TASS reports:

[…] The Right Sector said the authorities are planning a large-scale provocation against the volunteers and urged their “brothers in all other Ukrainian volunteer movements to gather in front of the presidential administration building on April 29.”

“Airborne troops’ movements in the Dnipropetrovsk Region are related to exercises,” the Defense Ministry said. “All statements being spread in the Internet regarding the situation in the Dnipropetrovsk Region are expected to raise tensions in society and prove attempts at armed provocations in the territory of Ukraine on the eve of May holidays,” the Defense Ministry said. […]

Gazeta.ru reports

In case the Ukrainian authorities do not comply with the requirements of “Right Sector” the group will organize a new meeting, during which it will burn down the presidential administration of Petro Poroshenko. As reported by “Ukrainian Truth”, this was said by the representative of “Right Sector” Artem Skoropadsky.

“This one will be a warning rally. If the government does not hear us, in the next rally we will burn the presidential administration, “- said Skoropadskyi.

The representative of the group said that “Right Sector” wants to enter the armed forces as an autonomous unit, but is opposed to legalization [adherence to the military chain of command].

Earlier, the group said that Poroshenko promised not to disarm the “volunteers.”

Ukrainian army checkpoint set up yesterday near Right Sector’s base in the Dnipropetrovsk ATO area (Twitter @Serggenadich1)

Antifashist.com reports:

The troops of the Ukrainian army came in tanks to disarm the battalion “Right Sector”. Dmitry Yarosh immediately responded at this, accusing the government of deliberate provocations against the volunteer battalions. The soldiers of RS, who had to join the ranks of ATO, are going to a rally in central Kiev. “Right Sector” demonstrates independence from the authorities, causing fear in the President of Ukraine.

“Right sector*” called on supporters to take to the streets of Ukrainian cities to protest against the actions of Ukrainian authorities. They are, according to their leader Dmitry Yarosh, trying to discredit the volunteer battalions, “pitting” them against ATO soldiers. The conflict between “Right Sector” and the armed forces may result in a serious confrontation.

ATO against “Right Sector”

Messages calling for a protest against the actions of Ukrainian authorities appeared on the website of the “Right Sector” yesterday. “The government is preparing a large-scale provocation against volunteers. Therefore, for the prevention of such operations against our brothers, we call on all the volunteer movement in Ukraine to go under the walls of the presidential administration today, April 29, at 12 o’clock. We call on all concerned patriots-nationalists and supporters of “Right Sector” to join the action and plead together for hundreds of our brothers, fathers and friends who put life in the struggle for a peaceful future” – said a statement released by the representatives of the organization.

Militants urged supporters to take to the walls of local administrations to support the main campaign in Kiev. According to Ukrainian media, the Kiev police are in a state of alert.

The authorities have not yet made any statement in response to allegations made by RS, despite the fact that Dmitry Yarosh did not mince words, accusing them of deliberate provocation. It is interesting that in early April it was reported that Yarosh took over as adviser to the Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and “Right Sector” would be part of the armed forces as a single battalion. At the same time, volunteer battalions were to leave their staging area in the Donbass. Apparently, this did not happen.

Yesterday “Right Sector” reported that one of their bases in the zone of the military operation against the militia was surrounded the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Members of the organization said this on its website. According to them, the base in the village of Velikomikhailovka in the Pokrovsky region of Dnipropetrovsk was surrounded by soldiers of the 25th and the 95th Airborne brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. […]

What was happening was immediately reported to the leader of RS Dmitry Yarosh. He tried to contact the General Staff, but to no avail. “Chief of Staff Viktor Muzhenko did not answer my call, and we were unable to discuss the situation immediately. Although it was clear that without an order from the General Staff this operation could not be carried out,” – he said, immediately accusing Kiev of deliberate provocation. […] He also added that at the scene arrived just mobilized soldiers, who demanded that “Right Sector” hand them over their weapons. “I gave an order to all units – do not surrender weapons. We can not prohibit anybody from defending our land and fighting with Russian aggressors, “- said the leader of the group.

Poroshenko’s fears

Ukrainian political scientist, director of the Kiev Center for Political and Conflict Studies Mikhail Pogrebinsky is sure that, despite the independence of the “Right Sector” from the Ukrainian authorities, Poroshenko will be able to negotiate with Yarosh. […]

The political scientist is sure that today “Right Sector” is an autonomous force that obeys no one. “Obviously, Poroshenko is afraid of “Right Sector”. He fears them more than the militias and Vladimir Putin. He does not dare to make any serious political steps, because he does not feel he fully controls the people with arms. The nationalists have a serious opportunity for the amateur. In fact, other volunteer battalions too independent. Formally them somewhere enrolled, but in fact they are autonomous, “- said the source. […]


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Categories: conflict zones, latest