Ukraine Nationalist Leader Faces Terrorism Charges
Published: March 5, 2014 (Issue # 1800)
MOSCOW Ś Russiaĺs Investigative Committee has opened aácriminal case onáterrorism-related charges against theáleader ofáa Ukrainian nationalist group widely seen as theádriving force behind the ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin onáMonday said Dmytro Yarosh, theáleader ofáthe ultranationalist group Right Sector (Pravy Sektor), was wanted foráôpublic appeals toácommit acts ofáterrorismö onáRussian soil andáacts ofáextremism, charges that carry up toáseven andáfive years ináprison, respectively. á
Related: Domodedovo Terrorist Attack Plotters Sentenced
Investigators say Yarosh posted aástatement onáthe groupĺs VKontakte page urging theáIslamist insurgent leader Doku UmarováŚ often referred toáas Russiaĺs equivalent ofáBin LadenáŚ toájoin Ukraine ináfighting theáKremlin. TheáRight Sector has denied theácharges, however, saying that people hired byáthe Kremlin had hacked theágroupĺs official VKontakte page andáwritten aáfake appeal toáUmarov that was falsely attributed toáYarosh.
TheáRight Sector was widely seen as theádriving force behind theáprotests ináKiev that led toáa violent uprising against theágovernment andáheightened tensions with Russia. Theágroup gained prominence when theáprotests became more radical ináJanuary andáFebruary, after theámainstream opposition andáSvoboda, aámore moderate nationalist party, began toálose their appeal.
Yarosh rose inápopularity foráhis role ináthe protests andáwas appointed aádeputy chairman ofáUkraineĺs National Security andáDefense Council last month.
Related: Ukraine Unrest Unlikely to Spread
It is foráthis reason that theágroup believes Yarosh has been accused ofácolluding with aáterroristáŚ toávillainize him andáeliminate any influence he may have had among Ukrainians.
Ináthe VKontakte message that prompted criminal charges byáRussian investigators, theáauthor said that many Ukrainians had participated ináthe same ôliberation warö being waged byáChechens andáother North Caucasus peoples. Members ofáUNA-UNSO, one ofáthe groups constituting theáRight Sector, reportedly fought against Russians ináthe Georgian-Abkhazian conflict andáfirst Chechen War ináthe 1990s.
Pages:  [2 ]