21:22 GMT +319 September 2018
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    Members of the right wing ultra nationalist Right Sector group

    Colossal Self-Importance: Right Sector Demands VIP Status in Ukraine's Army

    © AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)
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    The Right Sector's self-importance is so high that Ukraine should reform its Defense Ministry for the nationalists' comfort.

    The Right Sector can join the Ukrainian Armed Forces only as an autonomous combat unit, the extremist group's press secretary told Kiev radio station "Golos Stolytsi."

    Artem Skoropadsky refuted earlier reports by Defense Ministry officials that the paramilitary formation's inclusion into the Armed Forces was to be completed soon.

    Citing the relationship between the Estonian Defense League and the Baltic country's defense ministry, the spokesperson voiced his group's willingness to retain autonomy should it ever join the Armed Forces.

    "This decision must be made not by the President, not by the General Staff, but by the Verkhovna Rada that will have to determine the legal status of the Ukrainian volunteer corps, as the Defense Ministry's structure will have to be changed."

    The spokesperson explained that the Right Sector's activities will not alter; they will only receive a formal registration. The grouping  carries out subversive and reconnaissance operations, he said. More than 10,000 Right Sector members can fight, he added.

    "Those who have been to the war [Donbass conflict] know how the Right Sector works."

    The nationalist group gained notoriety for numerous atrocities such as burning alive and finishing 48 people in Odessa. Its militants have participated in the Donbass conflict, attacked striking coal miners, detained probable witnesses of their crimes in a pit and threatened to undermine the Minsk agreements.

    Topic:
    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

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    Tags:
    nationalists, Ukrainian crisis, Verkhovna Rada, Right Sector, Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Donbass, Ukraine
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