Right Sector militants ask Kiev to arm them with heavy weapons
"Talks are under way with the Defense Ministry and SBU about the creation inside the Donbass battalion of a special task unit with official status, heavy weapons and modern structure to ensure reliable protection of the state border, destroy mobile groups of terrorists, and perform reconnaissance and counter-subversion tasks," the battalion’s commander Semyon Semyonchenko wrote on Facebook.
By "terrorists" he means the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
The Donbass battalion was formed on the initiative of Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh.
Last month, Right Sector unveiled plans to move its headquarters to Donbass, which would make it easier for Right Sector leaders to monitor the situation in southeast Ukraine.
Yarosh, who is wanted in Russia for terrorism-related crimes, stood for the Ukrainian presidency in the May 25 election but received a meagre 0.7 percent of the votes.
The Kiev authorities are trying to legalize Right Sector and have not refrained from using military force in southeast Ukraine contrary to their commitments under the OSCE-proposed April 17 Geneva accords.
"Kiev has neglected its obligation to immediately disarm illegal paramilitary formations, above all, Right Sector militants and various regional paramilitary units, including the Dnepr battalion and the so-called National Guard. Not only they are not being disarmed, but, on the contrary, attempts are being made to legalize and use them, along with foreign mercenaries, in a punitive military operation in the southeast," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 21.
Ukraine’s Right Sector ultra-right movement is forming a special battalion, Donbass-2, tasked with waging a large-scale guerilla war in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Right Sector leader and Ukrainian presidential candidate Dmitry Yarosh said in a pre-election TV debate on Sunday.
Yarosh, for whom an arrest warrant was issued in Russia in absentia for crimes committed in Chechnya, vowed to return Crimea, now part of Russia, to Ukraine, hoping to achieve that through unleashing a guerilla war on the peninsula and through provocations using Crimean Tatars.
"We need to unleash a guerilla war and exploit the Crimean-Tatar factor. Crimea has been and will remain Ukrainian. It will be large-scale guerrilla war fought by volunteer units already being formed in Donbass. We have one battalion already, Donbass-1, and are forming Donbass-2 and Donbass-3," Yarosh said.
"We maintain permanent contact with our field commanders and coordinate our activity in the Donetsk region… Instead of frontal attacks, we need to click-shoot separatist leaders in the east," he said.
Federalization must not be given a chance, he added.
The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Yarosh for instigating terrorism and extremism and calling for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order in Russia. He is also charged with crimes against Russian soldiers in Chechnya in 1994-1995.
European Parliament deputy from Latvia Tatyana Zhdanok (Tatjana Ždanoka) has requested fellow MPs to support her demand that the European Commission (EC) includes the radical movement Right Sector in the list of terrorist organizations, Zhdanok's press office told TASS on Wednesday.
If the request is satisfied, bank accounts of this organization and all its members will be frozen, the radicals will not be able to enter EU countries, while governments of different countries will cooperate for political isolation and detention of the militants. However, Zhdanok believes "it is the Ukrainian interim government that is to bear the main responsibility for defeating the Right Sector, as it will have to finally draw a clear line between political organizations and far-right extremists".
"This line is now vague, and a number of state posts are occupied by radicals of fascist views, their reputation besmirched with participation in violent actions against their opponents or law enforcement authorities," Zhdanok added.
"After the appalling tragedy in Odessa, where Right Sector militants burnt 43 supporters of Ukraine’s federalization alive, the need to prohibit the Right Sector became evident. And an ordinary ban on its activities is inadequate here - there is a need to defeat this extremist organization, disarming its militants, arresting activists and court trial," the deputy said.
The so-called council of Kiev Maidan activists has approved an order whereby volunteers will be operating within National Guard battalions, territorial army battalions and other units designed to provide law and order and territorial integrity in Ukraine, according to a document posted on Facebook on Tuesday by the Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council and former Maidan commandant Andriy Parubiy.
Maidan fighters will join the Interior Ministry's national guard, special public order units, army territorial battalions and other armed groups operating and created by the authorities in order to "defend Ukraine".
The core duties of the self-defense forces will be "to form various government security units within the shortest period of time and fill them with patriots who will mount an armed defense of Ukraine's territorial integrity and independence," and "maintain public order in non-combat areas, form the reserve and provide material and technical aid to regular battalions," according to the document, Interfax reports.
Leader of the ultranationalist movement Right Sector, candidate for presidency of Ukraine, Dmitry Yarosh, against whom the Russian Federation had initiated a criminal case for incitement to terrorist activities, went to Slavyansk in order to head the operation of his supporters.
Yarosh was supposed to appear in the ShusterLive television program on Friday, however, he did not take part in it because, according to the press-service of his grouping, he went to Slavyansk to participate in the "final stage" of the military operation.
Despite the statements of the Kiev authorities and, in particular, Dmitry Yarosh that today, Slavyansk will be fully mopped-up, everything is relatively quiet in the city so far. It is safe to say that the Ukrainian army has not yet passed over to active offensive actions today. In the morning, shots were heard in Slavyansk, but, apparently, they came from the outskirts of the city. As for the center of Slavyansk, it is still under full control of the militia.