16:27 GMT21 February 2020
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    Ukraine has reportedly begun moving military vehicles into a western Ukrainian town where a deadly standoff took place between nationalists and local police over cigarette smuggling.

    A column of armored vehicles is reportedly moving in on the western Ukrainian town of Mukachevo, where a standoff between police and the Right Sector nationalist movement over cigarette smuggling led to multiple deaths.

    The violence is unusual for the western part of Ukraine, although in the Donbass and nearby regions, Ukrainian volunteer battalions and the military were previously found to be complicit in smuggling operations. A monitoring mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also arrived on the scene on Sunday.

    A Right Sector representative told Ukrainian television that an armored column was indeed moving to the town. According to the representative, the fighters attempted to block it at a checkpoint, but stood down and let it through at the order of the group's leader, Dmytro Yarosh. The group has vowed to keep fighting.

    "There was no order to hand over weapons and surrender from leader Yarosh. As long as there is no such order, they will not surrender" the head of the regional Right Sector cell Artyom Skoropadskyi said.

    The group also began picketing Ukrainian police headquarters around the country, calling for the removal of internal minister Arsen Avakov.

    Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh was appointed to be a military advisor to the country's military in April, when his group was also legally formalized.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has not issued any statements on the incident.


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    standoff, Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, Petro Poroshenko, Mukachevo, Ukraine, Transcarpathia
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