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Lavrov Says Nationalists to Blame for Kiev Snipers

Published: March 31, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at an Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012.
    Photo: M. Stulov / Vedomosti

In an interview given to Russian state media on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that snipers who wounded and killed numerous protesters during the Euromaidan movement could have been lead by the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector.

Although he noted that he was not 100 percent certain, Lavrov said that "many factors point to this [conclusion]," RIA Novosti reported. The minister said there was evidence suggesting several cases of violence instigated by the group, which, according to the long-serving official, includes the organization of the snipers in central Kiev.

Lavrov also noted that Moscow has already shared their concerns about nationalists with Western partners, and he hopes that the investigation of the issue will not be "swept under the carpet."

Right Sector has been under the spotlight in recent days after Ukrainian security forces killed one of the group's leaders during an attempt to arrest him in western Ukraine, sparking anti-government statements from and the subsequent detention of some of the group's members.

During Sunday's interview on Russia's Channel One, Lavrov said that Russia is fully behind the establishment of a new Ukrainian constitution that provides for a federal structure that would protect the right's of Russian speakers in the country's east.

Lavrov also said he hoped Russia and Western countries could "express a common position" with regards to matters in Kiev, stating that the West had previously tried to "separate Ukraine from Russia."

The interview came after Lavrov categorically denied Western claims that Russia was planning an invasion of Ukraine, having positioned troops close to its borders, saying, "We have absolutely no intention and no interests in crossing the borders of Ukraine."

Western leaders are concerned that Russia is planning an incursion into mainland Ukraine, after initial violence in Kiev led to Moscow's claims that Russians in the country were under threat, an explanation that ultimately led to Russia's annexing Crimea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Lavrov Sunday evening in Paris to discuss Ukraine for the first time since Russia and the U.S. exchanged sanctions following the annexation.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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