Thousands of Ukraine ultranationalists gather on Maidan, announce ‘new revolution’
Up to 6,000 supporters of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector movement gathered in central Kiev on Tuesday, calling on authorities to resign. The rally marks a “new stage of Ukrainian revolution,” the extremists' leader Dmitry Yarosh announced.
The radicals marched through the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening, gathering on Maidan (Independence Square). The rally largely consisted of people wearing camouflage clothes, waving the red and black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). They were chanting “death to enemies,” TASS reported.
Speaking on Maidan, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) leader Dmitry Yarosh said that the group is “showing that we are a disciplined revolutionary force,” opening a “new stage of Ukrainian revolution” with the Tuesday rally.
Киев сейчас. Вече "Правого сектора". pic.twitter.com/vbdoX4MkJW— Сводки Новороссии (@myrevolutionrus) July 21, 2015
Ahead of the rally, Yarosh has said that the gathering would be “peaceful” in nature.
READ MORE: Poroshenko orders all illegal arms group disarmed in Ukraine amid standoff with Right Sector
The ultranationalist group announced its plans to initiate a referendum on a vote of no-confidence in the Ukrainian authorities. At the rally, protesters demanded the resignation of Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
Field offices will be organized in all regions of Ukraine to work on the referendum starting from Wednesday, Yarosh announced at the rally, saying that those Right Sector centers will also act as “revolutionary committees.” Imposing martial law on the territory of Ukraine should also be put on the vote, he said.
“People must voice their attitude to what's happening in the country ... the government should know that if the people are not pleased with it, then it must go,” Yarosh said, as quoted by TASS. If the movement is not given the right to organize the referendum, then they will create their own election committee and “will vote independently on the whole territory of Ukraine,” he added.
READ MORE: Show of power: Right Sector nationalists ready to send ‘19 battalions’ to Kiev
Average working people also joined the Tuesday rally, being displeased with poor living standards in the country under the Poroshenko government, RT's correspondent Murad Gazdiev reported from Ukraine.
"Ukraine is in absolutely terrible state at the moment, the economic situation is much worse than it was two years ago under Yanukovich," journalist and broadcaster from London Neil Clark told RT. "It's quite predictable" that people have taken to the streets, he added.
"The situation is going to get worse, because ordinary people are saying ‘what was all that about?’” Clark said, adding that ultranationalists might contribute to destabilizing the situation, as President Poroshenko is now "attacking the very people who helped bring him to power."
READ MORE: Poroshenko signs laws praising Ukraine nationalists as ‘freedom fighters’
Right Sector radicals participated in Ukraine's previous revolution, and have since been fighting in the in eastern Ukraine conflict. The heavily-armed battalions, who have previously denounced the Minsk ceasefire, made calls "to blockade Donbass" during the Tuesday rally.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian capital saw a large march of approximately 2,000 people who took to the streets of Kiev to protest high housing and public utilities prices. Some of the Sunday march banners read "where are the reforms?" and "we are dying of hunger." A similar rally happened in the city of Dnepropetrovsk in central Ukraine, where dozens of demonstrators, mainly people of older age, blocked one of the roads in the city, demanding the resignation of President Poroshenko.