06:21 GMT06 May 2021
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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

    The Ukrainian neo-Nazi militant group Right Sector poses a huge threat to entire Europe and it is similar to the Islamic State [ISIL] currently terrorizing the Middle East, said Pierre Lorrain, a French journalist and expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union.

    The Right Sector can turn Ukraine into a hotspot of violence at the gates of Europe and which could then spill into Europe, Lorrain said.

    "I think that both the Daesh [ISIL] and the Right Sector are terrorist organizations, as they exist only because of fear that they induce to local populations," Lorrain told Sputnik in an interview.

    Both ISIL and the Right Sector emerged with the help of the United States. Washington financed the extremists in Ukraine to overthrow the government of former President Viktor Yanukovych. The same thing happened in Syria: the US government knew about the surge of various terrorist groups in the country, but ignored the situation and even supported some of the groups to counter the government of Bashar al-Assad. A few years later this resulted in the rise of ISIL.

    There is still a difference between the two militant groups. In Ukraine, the Right Sector doesn't have overwhelming support among society and therefore the people of Ukraine could potentially stand up against the neo-Nazis and defeat them. Meanwhile, for the Syrians and Iraqis who live under the burden of ISIL, it's too late — the terrorists have already become too powerful to rise against them, Lorrain said.

    After the Mukachevo incident that left three people killed and 13 injured, Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh blamed the local police for starting the shootout, even though Right Sector militants were driving to the town of Mukachevo armed with a heavy-machine gun on top of a truck. Yarosh called for all Right Sector members to hold protests in main Ukrainian cities until Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is dismissed.

    On July 17, in reaction to President Petro Poroshenko calling the Right Sector members who opened fire in Mukachevo "terrorists," Yarosh then stated that Poroshenko is no longer fit for his role as the country's leader. 

    The situation in Ukraine remains highly unstable. The withdrawal of troops by Donbass militias raised hopes that the conflict may finally be resolved. But the last developments, including the activities of the far-right extremists and unwillingness of the Kiev government to take peaceful response measures, demonstrate that the situation is far from returning to normal.    

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


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