BERLIN, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – The recent demarche by Ukraine’s radical Right Sector movement, which demanded the closure of all criminal cases against its members, shows that the Kiev government fails to control paramilitary groups active in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“The Kiev government fails to control numerous armed groups, including the Right Sector,” Lavrov said. “And the recent demarche against the Ukrainian Interior Ministry confirms this.”
The Right Sector demanded that President Petro Poroshenko cleaned out the Interior Ministry staff members they considered disloyal and closed all criminal cases launched against the movement’s members, threatening to otherwise withdraw from the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine and start moving toward the Ukrainian capital.
In turn, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov responded to the ultimatum of the Right Sector, accusing Yarosh of lying to his own people. Avakov doubted that the Right Sector militants were present anywhere near the front line and claimed nobody had actually seen them "other than on photo and video."
On August 17, Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh reversed his statement, saying the demands were met in part and that the militants will continue to fight against the independence supporters in the east of Ukraine and will not march on Kiev.
Members of the Right Sector movement were among those, who clashed with police and seized administrative buildings in Ukraine in January, prior to the February 22 government coup. Moscow has repeatedly called on Kiev to disarm Right Sector.