Special units surround fascists after meeting turns violent
UKRAINIAN police were containing about 20 Right Sector gunmen in a wood yesterday after deadly clashes with officers on Saturday.
Police commandos, special national guard units and the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) evacuated civilians and surrounded the neonazi group on the outskirts of the western city of Mukachevo.
The SBU said that the militants were refusing to surrender unless ordered to by Right Sector leader and MP Dmitry Yarosh.
Details were confused but at least two members of the group had been killed in a gun battle at a cafe, while one civilian was killed and four more injured, along with six police.
The regional prosecutor stated that about 20 heavily armed militants bearing Right Sector insignia called for a meeting with residents at the cafe and then started shooting.
Ukrainian media reported that the facility was a sports complex owned by MP and businessman Mikhail Lyano, whose party opposes Right Sector.
Late on Saturday Right Sector released a statement saying “the entire Right Sector military and political movement has been placed on combat alert.”
The group claimed that Mr Lyano had invited them to “negotiations” as he was angry about the group’s raids to “disrupt contraband routes” he controls, and had then been ambushed by police.
Far-right crowds rallied in front of government offices in Kiev as well as in Lvov and Dnepropetrovsk.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for human rights Konstantin Dolgov wrote on social networking site Twitter that Right Sector, which is banned in Russia, had once again “shown its bandit face.”
“Kiev just can’t break up with neonazis, trying to mute them,” Mr Dolgov said. “Soon it will be too late.”
Right Sector glorifies second world war nazi collaborator and anti-semite Stepan Bandera, and its members wear the neonazi “wolfsangel” symbol on their armbands.
The group played a key role in the violent Maidan Square coup against the elected Ukrainian government last year when its thugs attacked police and tried to storm parliament.
Since then Right Sector’s volunteer Donbass battalion has fought anti-fascist forces in Kiev’s civil war in the Russian-speaking east of the country.