KIEV, March 25 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian ultranationalist Olexander Muzychko, put on an international wanted list for committing war atrocities in Russia's Chechnya, was gunned down overnight in an operation by Ukrainian special forces, a senior official in the country said Tuesday.
Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, was located Monday near a cafe in the western Ukrainian city of Rovno in an operation launched by special forces to neutralize a suspected militant group.
Muzychko, an activist in Ukraine’s radical Right Sector party and an active participant in earlier riots (street protests) in Kiev, attempted to escape through a window and opened fire on law enforcement, injuring one of the officers before being killed by return fire, according to First Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Yevdokimov.
“Muzychko was shot in his leg, but he tried to return fire. Later when he was kicked down to the ground, he kept shooting and was injured. Doctors have confirmed Muzychko’s death,” Yevdokimov said, according to the Ukrainian UNIAN news agency.
Three other suspected gunmen were detained during the operation.
Earlier this month Muzychko accused the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office and police in a YouTube video of a plot to kill him or capture and hand him over to Russian special services.
Muzychko was put on an international wanted list on suspicion of torturing and murdering at least 20 Russian servicemen in Chechnya in the early 2000s. He was arrested in absentia by a court in southern Russia earlier this month.
Ukrainian prosecutors have launched a criminal case against Muzychko who assaulted staff at a state prosecutor's office in Rovno last month. Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov earlier said Muzychko would be punished according to the law.
Right Sector, along with Muzychko, is a major ally of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party led by Oleh Tyahnybok, a member of the new Ukrainian government and an active promoter of the ideas of Stepan Bandera. Bandera, a Ukrainian who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II, was involved in mass atrocities in the wartime ethnic cleansing of Poles, Jews and Russians.
Russia has described last month's uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup, which resulted in Moscow taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.