Skip to comments.Ukraine: ‘Right Sector’ take fight to Kiev police
Posted on 01/24/2014 10:06:38 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
TO Ukraines embattled government, they are terrorists and fanatics. To opposition leaders striving to keep president Viktor Yanukovich and his regime under pressure by peaceful means they are a useful weapon and a dangerous liability.
Whether either side likes it or not, it is the violent tactics of a far-right group called Right Sector that is setting the agenda on the streets of Kiev.
Insiders say the group has its origins among nationalist-minded football fans the word sector in Russian denotes stadium terraces and includes individuals from far-right groups.
They attack police, sometimes in pairs, usually wearing masks or helmets and armed with sticks, iron bars and trophy shields seized from riot police.
They have no allegiance to any established party and operate under no banner, flag or standard, not even that of recognised nationalist groups.
Their numbers are unknown some say they have 300 people on the streets of Kiev and they draw support from across Ukraine, with more than 100,000 supporters on Russian-language social network Vkontakte. In its mission statement there, Right Sector says it aims not only to force Mr Yanukovich to sign the European Union free-trade agreement he walked away from in November, setting off the protests, but by revolutionary means to get rid of his regime of occupation.
Its mainly male membership has ignored opposition respect for peaceful protest. Instead members have kept riot police on the back foot with a hail of petrol bombs and cobblestones for the past week.
By their violent tactics, they have hijacked the protest movement, known as Euromaidan literally Eurosquare and added a combustible element both the authorities and the opposition are struggling to contend with.
Opposition leaders disown the violence, recognising it gives the authorities the perfect excuse for a crackdown that might snuff out the protest movement.
But Right Sector has also re-energised the protest and raised the heat on Mr Yanukovich, serving a warning of what lies ahead if he fails to compromise.
When the opposition emerged empty-handed from talks with Mr Yanukovich late on Thursday, it was masked Right Sector members who oversaw the building of new barricades.
The focus of protest has shifted from Kievs Independence Square, crucible of Euromaidan, to a mile away, where Right Sector warriors and others clash daily with police, down the road from the main government building.
The area near Dynamo Kiev FCs stadium has now become their theatre of operations, a battlezone where protesters confront black-helmeted riot police across a 40-metre no-mans land.
Its a self-organising structure with links with all right-wing organisations which are ready to defend the interests of the Ukrainian nation, the Ukrainian idea, said a man called himself Zaliznyak (Ironman), the military chaplain of the group.
Many people regard it as pointless to stand around on the Square listening to leaders who say our weapons are our torches, he said, referring to the protesters practice of lighting mobile phones to show resistance.
Zaliznyak, in his 50s, with greying hair and a penetrating gaze, says the heavy-handed force shown by the riot police justifies their actions.
When they shoot at people, at children, when they march across the bellies of pregnant women, then it is clear any normal person must defend the weak, he said on the fifth floor of a building on Independence Square, one of Right Sectors hang-outs. Despite their mission statement, they have little of a political agenda. Unlike most mainstream protesters, they do not want EU membership, but oppose closer ties with Russia as a threat to independence.
They are always on the front line against the Berkut [riot police], who are afraid of them because they are capable of anything, said 21-year-old Serhiy, a student protester. There are up to 300 people in the group. They are better than us. They train and send really experienced people. They only have one aim Ukraine before all.
THE COUNTRYS president Viktor Yanukovich, in an apparent offer of major concessions to the opposition amid mass protests against his rule, pledged last night to reshuffle his government and amend sweeping anti-protest laws.
In comments to church leaders, reported by the Interfax news agency, Mr Yanukovich said key decisions would be made at a special session of parliament next Tuesday.
We will take a decision at this session. The president will sign a decree and we will reshuffle the government in order to find the best possible professional government team, he said.
The dismissal of premier Mykola Azarovs government has been one of the main demands of the opposition in two months of unrest.
Referring for the first time to the need to work closely with the opposition, he said opposition leaders would be brought into an anti-crisis team which he would lead.
I will do all I can to stop this conflict, to stop violence, he said. But he added that if this was not possible all legal methods would be used to end the crisis.
“Far-right” means something different in every country apparently. Whatever group the left conveniently doesn’t like usually gets the label.
The steppes of europe/eurasia have been blown over so many times between Germany and Russia.
They’re tired of it. They are their own people, Poles and Ukrainians, Belorussians, etc.
Constantly blowing wind, from one direction or the other.
They have their own identity.
One has to question the sanity of anyone who would want to join the EU.
“Gosh, let’s bail out Greece” isn’t exactly motivating
This is the issue, the EU is nothing but a ponzi scheme that bleeds out these countries and when they are broke they owe their political souls to the EU, then they are done.
I am not particularly fond of these extremist Ukrainian nationalists. Many of them come from the ranks of football hooligans. Hence their ties to Dynamo Kiev.
To them Stepan Bandera was a hero. Bandera was an evil man, every bit as bad as the Ustashe in Croatia....He and his UPA-OUN organization murdered thousands of Poles during World War II.
I certainly hope if the Ukrainians succeed in getting independence from Moscow, that these guys don’t come close to assuming any kind of power.
>>>I certainly hope if the Ukrainians succeed in getting independence from Moscow, that these guys dont come close to assuming any kind of power<<<
Dream on:) It’s a kind of arab spring there. No good guys.
Yanukovich has bitten off more than he can chew. This is about freedom and an end to the endemic corruption in Ukraines government.
Yanukovich is in a corner. He has to back down or kill his way to keep power. I think eventually he will be “Ceaucescued”
Far right, neo-nazi, pro-homosexual, pro-European rebels
Conservatives seek to preserve classic core values of their culture, which may differ from other cultures.
Sometimes ya gotta align with one kingpin or another, despicable as both may be. EU has problems but is better than Putin’s hardline authoritarianism.
“Romanian term limits”
Opinions. Everyone has them. Knowledge? not so much.
There’s a group of far right, neo-nazi, pro-homosexual, pro-European rebels within a population of tens of million, so what? 99% of the protest movement are regular people who want no part of Russia or the criminal their pushing. Job well done supporting a wannabe dictator Yanukovich
Russia looks from 1000 miles away in Serbia. Come live a little bit closer, close enough to where they think your land is theirs and murder millions if they resist.
This is just temporary alliance of liberal-left EU-loyalists and nationalists. The scenario is always the same. If they would win the first group would be offered financial support from leftist internationale and gain all the power and substantial part of the media outlets. While the latter side would be marginalized, struggle with financial problems and portrayed as neo-Nazis by their former allies.