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Ukraine Nationalist Leader Faces Terrorism Charges

Published: March 5, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • Members of radical group Right Sector have been widely seen as thedriving force behind theprotests inKiev
    Photo: Darko Bandic / AP

MOSCOW Russias Investigative Committee has opened acriminal case onterrorism-related charges against theleader ofa Ukrainian nationalist group widely seen as thedriving force behind the ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin onMonday said Dmytro Yarosh, theleader ofthe ultranationalist group Right Sector (Pravy Sektor), was wanted forpublic appeals tocommit acts ofterrorism onRussian soil andacts ofextremism, charges that carry up toseven andfive years inprison, respectively.

Related: Domodedovo Terrorist Attack Plotters Sentenced

Investigators say Yarosh posted astatement onthe groups VKontakte page urging theIslamist insurgent leader Doku Umarov often referred toas Russias equivalent ofBin Laden tojoin Ukraine infighting theKremlin. TheRight Sector has denied thecharges, however, saying that people hired bythe Kremlin had hacked thegroups official VKontakte page andwritten afake appeal toUmarov that was falsely attributed toYarosh.

TheRight Sector was widely seen as thedriving force behind theprotests inKiev that led toa violent uprising against thegovernment andheightened tensions with Russia. Thegroup gained prominence when theprotests became more radical inJanuary andFebruary, after themainstream opposition andSvoboda, amore moderate nationalist party, began tolose their appeal.

Yarosh rose inpopularity forhis role inthe protests andwas appointed adeputy chairman ofUkraines National Security andDefense Council last month.

Related: Ukraine Unrest Unlikely to Spread

It is forthis reason that thegroup believes Yarosh has been accused ofcolluding with aterrorist tovillainize him andeliminate any influence he may have had among Ukrainians.

Inthe VKontakte message that prompted criminal charges byRussian investigators, theauthor said that many Ukrainians had participated inthe same liberation war being waged byChechens andother North Caucasus peoples. Members ofUNA-UNSO, one ofthe groups constituting theRight Sector, reportedly fought against Russians inthe Georgian-Abkhazian conflict andfirst Chechen War inthe 1990s.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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