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12 Jul, 2015 20:41

Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector in standoff with authorities

Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector in standoff with authorities

Ukraine’s ultranationalist movement Right Sector has launched a nationwide mobilization and is withdrawing from the Donbass conflict zone following deadly clashes with police near the southwestern town of Mukachevo on Saturday.

  • 13 July 2015

    20:20 GMT

    Over 100 activists and representatives of the Right Sector protested outside the Presidential Administration in Kiev, Monday. Some of the protesters wore masks and balaclavas as governmental security forces stood guard at the entrance to the building. No clashes were reported.

  • 19:25 GMT

    European Union Ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Tombinski, expressed hope for an early settlement of the conflict in Mukachevo and urged the Kiev authorities to perform a thorough investigation of the shootout.

    "I look forward to a speedy conclusion to the conflict in Mukachevo. The immediate cessation of unlawful acts and respect for the rule of law are extremely important. Only the state has the exclusive right to provide public order and the use of weapons,” Tombinski wrote on Facebook.

    The EU expects that the incident “will be thoroughly investigated by the authorities and the perpetrators of illegal acts will be held accountable,” the ambassador added.

  • 18:47 GMT

    The order to disarm all illegal armed groups in the country given by Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, doesn’t apply to the Right Sector, Artem Skoropadsky, ultranationalist group’s spokesman stressed.

    "The statement by Petro Poroshenko is addressed to illegal armed groups. We are not an illegal armed group. Illegal armed groups are bandits, and we are volunteer Ukrainian corps Ukrainian, which protects the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Therefore, this statement does not apply to us," Skoropadsky told the RIA-Novosti news agency.

    Members of the far-right radical group Right Sectorю (Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

  • 16:48 GMT

    Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has ordered the Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) to disarm all illegal armed groups in the country.

    “No political force should have armed cells and no political force will have one,” Poroshenko said during a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).

    According to the president, the appearance of heavily armed men in Mukachevo, “a thousand kilometers away from the front line,” is an attempt to destabilize the situation in Ukraine.

    “The authorities will not allow this,” he promised.

    The president stressed that the essence of the conflict in Mukashevo, situated near the borders of Slovakia and Hungary, was the “redistribution of smuggling routes.”

  • 14:59 GMT

    “It is very embarrassing for the EU to see people marching on the streets of Kiev wearing Nazi insignia,” Neil Clark, journalist and broadcaster, told RT. ‘Western officials are still in denial about these things. The problem now for Poroshenko is that he will have to either concede ground or fight with far right.’

  • 09:38 GMT

    The leader of the Right Sector group Dmitry Yarosh announced that he hadn’t relocated his group’s fighters.

    “Any information about moving battalions of the Voluntary Ukrainian Unit from the area of fighting is wrong,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

    According to Yarosh, “Right Sector is performing combat missions in the areas of their responsibility, defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country [Ukraine].”

  • 05:59 GMT

    Shots were fired in Mukachevo village in the early hours of Monday, according to the Ukrainian TV station 112, as cited by Interfax news agency. Several armored vehicles have also been spotted in the area. The reports haven’t been confirmed by officials or local journalists.

  • 03:09 GMT

    Right Sector announced that its “Fifth Battalion” is heading to support the organization's rally in Kiev.

    «Правый сектор» пригрозил пойти на Киев http://t.co/nYcCFCh7yLpic.twitter.com/V2CkxpED6Z

    — 1001portails Russie (@1001ptsRU) July 12, 2015

    “The Fifth Battalion is heading to Kiev,” Right Sector spokesman Dmitry Savchenko told Ukraine's Chanel 5 News. “It's real people, citizens who have the same civil rights as we do...this does not mean that they are going there with assault rifles and machine guns.”

    “But it is reasonable to hold an indefinite protest and that the soldiers to take part in this action,” he said.

  • 01:54 GMT

    Secretary for the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov proposes a “serious” personnel cleansing at all levels in Ukraine's Carpathian region.

    “We are looking for serious personnel changes in the region, both in security and in the administrative block. We need to finally vote in Parliament to remove the immunity of deputies and judges. We must finally rid the country of criminals and corrupt officials,” Turchinov wrote on Facebook.

    Коли ти стріляєш з автомата чи гранатомета по ворогам на фронті - ти герой, але коли починаєш стріляти з цієї ж зброї у ...Posted by Олександр Турчинов on Sunday, July 12, 2015

    At the same time the politicians said that besides capturing the Right Sector fighters in Mukachevo, special forces deployed in the area must “harshly deal” with those, who under the guise of “government posts and deputy mandates,” are covering up illegal criminal activity in the region.

  • 00:23 GMT

    The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that arrived in Mukachevo to meet with authorities and observe SBU operations noted that Kiev is increasing its troops in the Carpathian region.

    The team witnessed a “Ukrainian Armed Forces convoy moving towards Mukachevo, comprised of 11 APCs, two trucks loaded with soldiers and one fuel truck,” SMM said in a statement.

    On their way to Mukachevo, the SMM observed heightened security measures, including several police checkpoints.

    “At one such checkpoint, north of Mukachevo, about 2km from the alleged incident scene, the SMM saw the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arriving, with 10 armored vans and two minibuses,” SMM said.

    They added, that police delivered one dead body to the hospital while the SBU escorted two “seriously wounded persons.”

    According to SMM, three civilians and three police who had been admitted on Saturday have been already discharged.