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Tensions Between Kiev, Right Sector Harm President Poroshenko's Authority

© AFP 2021 / SERGEI SUPINSKYFighters of Social Nationalist Assembly (SNA), part of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector party, attend a swearing-in ceremony in Kiev prior to leaving on June 3, 2014
Fighters of Social Nationalist Assembly (SNA), part of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector party, attend a swearing-in ceremony in Kiev prior to leaving on June 3, 2014 - Sputnik International
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The latest tensions between the Ukrainian government and the nationalist Right Sector group, including the incident in the western Ukrainian town of Mukacheve, seriously damaged the reputation of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, experts told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov, Svetlana Alexandrova — A July 11 shootout between police officers and Right Sector militants in the Zakarpattia region left three people dead and 13 injured. Right Sector's leader Dmytro Yarosh called for its members to hold protests in main Ukrainian cities until policemen, who opened fire against the movement's members in Mukacheve are detained and Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov is dismissed.

On July 17, in reaction to President Petro Poroshenko calling the Right Sector members who opened fire in Mukacheve "terrorists", Yarosh stated that Poroshenko is no longer fit for his role as the country's leader. It comes as an opinion poll by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology revealed Monday that 55.4 percent of Ukrainians are not happy with the performance of the president.

Alexander Domrin, the professor at the Moscow's Higher School of Economics, told Sputnik that the situation at the moment is critical for the Ukrainian government.

“It is not good news for Poroshenko since he tries to present himself as more or less civilized European politician whereas there is also a growing group of people around Dmytro Yarosh who basically proclaimed an establishment of a new movement to remove Poroshenko and his government from power.”

He added that a number of people in Europe, “who have a realistic view on what is going on in Ukraine,” continues to grow because the worst expectations that “semi-fascists, semi-Nazis in the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian elite” pose real threat not only to the ethnic Russians in the Eastern part of the country but also to the Hungarians in the western Ukraine.

“Even though, most likely, Poroshenko will stay, he will be going through tough times.”

Balazs Jarabik, a Carnegie Endowment of International Peace scholar, also believes that the current Ukrainian government will survive the crisis triggered by Right Sector despite the population's dissatisfaction with Poroshenko's governance.

“Right Sector mobilization effort to protest showed that the organization misses any serious basis (no masses) and that Ukraine society desires no 3rd Maidan, even though they are not satisfied with Kiev performance.”

According to the expert, Right Sector militants “have weapons and are challenging authorities over the monopoly of using weapons,” but this challenge is exaggerated and does not correspond to the attention Right Sector gets.

The Right Sector is a Ukrainian association of radical, ultranationist organizations that took an active part in the anti-government protests that led to the ousting of former President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

The group was declared an extremist organization in Russia in November 2014 and subsequently banned.

© Sputnik / Alexei Vovk / Go to the photo bankRight Sector rally at the building of Presidential Administration of Ukraine
Right Sector rally at the building of Presidential Administration of Ukraine - Sputnik International
Right Sector rally at the building of Presidential Administration of Ukraine
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