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Descending Into Chaos: Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Groups Go on a Rampage

© REUTERS / Valentyn OgirenkoA participant looks on during a rally held by members of the far-right radical group Right Sector, representatives of the Ukrainian volunteer corps and their supporters, with tyres set on fire seen in the background, in central Kiev, Ukraine, July 3, 2015
A participant looks on during a rally held by members of the far-right radical group Right Sector, representatives of the Ukrainian volunteer corps and their supporters, with tyres set on fire seen in the background, in central Kiev, Ukraine, July 3, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is scared of the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector and as the recent events in Mukachevo showed he can’t even control the radicals’ activity in the country, said Mark Galeotti, the professor of Global Affairs at New York University.

The Ukrainian authorities have a hard choice to make — either yield to the pressure from the radicals, thus allowing them to gain even more influence across the country, or show decisiveness, investigate the shooting incident and demonstrate that the current government still has a firm grip on the country, Galeotti said.

Tyres are set on fire during a rally held by members of the far-right radical group Right Sector, representatives of the Ukrainian volunteer corps and their supporters in central Kiev, Ukraine, July 3, 2015 - Sputnik International
Right Sector Will Not Lay Down Arms by Poroshenko’s Order
On Saturday, the shootout in Mukachevo between local police and Right Sector militants left 3 people dead and 13 injured. The militants claimed that the police started to shoot at them first, when the group was simply traveling to meet local officials to talk about their gym membership.

Right, as if we all believe that was the case, especially considering the group was armed to the teeth with a heavy machine gun mounted on the top of a truck! They were going to discuss their gym membership, seriously?

The government has been using ultra-nationalist groups in the eastern part of the country. In fact, the nationalists played a key role in the conflict; however the government never had full control over these groups, which had a significant degree of autonomy.

Now it seems that Kiev shot itself in the foot by supporting the Right Sector, Azov and other radical groups fighting in Donbass. The nationalists ended up with lots of arms and battlefield experience, and now they're strong, independent organizations that might as well challenge Poroshenko, especially considering how weak the government is right now, Galeotti argued.

Ukraine's neighbors worried about Right Sector activity near their borders

The Right Sector's chaotic actions are making Ukraine's neighbors nervous. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia are worried about the seed of anarchy that the radical group is spreading right beside EU borders.

Following the incident in Mukachevo and Right Sector protests at the heart of Kiev and Lviv, Poland should enhance its security, as the government in Kiev clearly cannot control radical groups across Ukraine, said Andrzej Zapalowski, the vice-chairman of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and a Member of the EU Parliament.

"We can expect that these people [the Right Sector militants] will try to penetrate into EU countries, including Poland, and try to impose their own rules. Right now, we aren't talking about several individuals, but groups of several dozen men," Zapalowski told Sputnik News.

National Guard servicemen man a road block in the village of Lavky, near the small Ukrainian town of Mukachevo, Transcarpathia district, on July 12, 2015 - Sputnik International
Slovakia Tightens Border With Ukraine Amid Right Sector Crisis
The Right Sector couldn't defeat independence supporters in Donbass and now they have come to Transcarpathia, believing they can find easy prey in the area. A number of ethnic minorities live in the Western part of Ukraine, including Hungarians, Romanians and Orthodox Rusyns, who all could be targeted by the right-wing Ukrainian group, the Polish politician said.    

That's why it's important that Poland follows the example of Hungary and Slovakia, which have already begun to beef up their security near the Ukrainian border, as the actions and ideology of the Right Sector are extremely dangerous, Zapalowski concluded.

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