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Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector gets into Kiev authorities’ way - experts

July 13, 2015, 20:18 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, July 13. /By TASS World Service writer Lyudmila Alexandrova/. The ultranationalist Right Sector, which has gained strength with the encouragement of the Ukrainian authorities, has turned into an obvious criminal structure and entered into an open conflict with the state. The attempts to integrate the right-wing radical organization into state structures and gradually reduce its influence have completely failed, Russian experts said on Monday.

According to experts, now that the ultranationalists have already played their role and are currently only discrediting the authorities, this organization will be either destroyed or "brought to a toothless state."

A new trouble spot has appeared on Ukraine’s map — the town of Mukachevo in the Transсarpathian region, some 50 kilometers from the border with the European Union. The Ukrainian authorities have been confronted with a challenge coming from the Euromaidan’s most radical force called the Right Sector.

A group of Right Sector members provoked a shootout with local police and businessmen on July 11 in Mukachevo, using grenade launchers and heavy machine guns. Kiev promptly dispatched a special force group of the Ukrainian Security Council and the National Guard to Mukachevo.

The conflict of the Ukrainian law-enforcers with Right Sector gunmen in Mukachevo caused repercussions across the country. Pickets in support of the Right Sector were held in Odessa, Sumy, Cherkassy, Zhitomir, Lviv, Nikolayev, Mariupol and Kramatorsk on Saturday.

The Right Sector supporters in Kiev deployed a field kitchen near the building of the presidential administration to show they had come here for long. Both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groysman called on "the illegal formations" to disarm.

"When a new Ukrainian state was being established on the ethnic, nationalist basis, the Right Sector was needed," Deputy Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics Andrei Suzdaltsev told TASS.

"But with time, it began creating problems for the authorities. Kiev used to assure quite recently that the Right Sector’s combat units had joined the Ukrainian army but it has turned out that this is not so and now the supporters of Right Sector leader [Dmytro] Yarosh from volunteer battalions have left Donbas [the area of Kiev’s military operation in the country’s east] on his order," the expert said.

Of course, the Kiev authorities are themselves responsible for this situation because it is at their connivance that Right Sector bandit formations exist on a legal basis. But it is necessary to take into account the fact that the Ukrainian state is still weak as it has failed to get out of the crisis so far," the expert said.

Money is behind the Mukachevo events, the expert said. "No one finances the Right Sector from abroad any longer as was the case earlier when this organization was needed. That is why, robberies and the violent seizure of property are now used. These are simply gangs of murderers whom everyone fears. The rebuff they got from the Mukachevo police has caused the radicals’ wild indignation and shock — until now they considered themselves to be almost gods," the expert said.

The Right Sector will be liquidated as a structure soon, the expert said.

There can be no talk about any coup d’etat as the Ukrainian army will be used against the Right Sector and this scenario will hardly have any serious effect on the political situation inside the country, he added.

Such events could have happened in any region of Ukraine because this organization has existed over the past year by giving out the right to various criminal groups to be called the Right Sector, Senior Researcher of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Oleg Nemensky told TASS.

"In this way, it was turning from a political and military organization into a criminal structure. Besides, the close relationship of the criminal world, business and sometimes local authorities as a common thing for Ukrainian politics also played its role," the expert said.

In general, the Mukachevo events are a blow on the prestige of Ukrainian statehood but they are also a convenient pretext for the Kiev authorities to launch an offensive on the Right Sector, the expert said.

"Several months ago, a policy was launched towards weakening and liquidating armed groupings, which are historically linked with the Euromaidan but which have long turned into combat battalions. They already pose a danger for the Ukrainian state and now a legitimate ground is appearing for discrediting the Right Sector in the eyes of Ukrainian citizens and delivering a blow against it for the purpose of bringing it to a toothless state or liquidating it all together in the future," the expert said.

Volunteer battalions were helpful for the Ukrainian authorities at the initial stages of Kiev’s military operation in the Donbass region as the Ukrainian army hardly had any combat efficiency while the right-wing radicals’ battalions did all the rough work, the expert said.

"But now they have little military significance: they have largely turned into criminal groupings. They do considerably more harm than good at the state level," the expert said.

The Right Sector will most likely be disarmed and turned into a far-right political grouping with quite limited possibilities, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin said.

"Even the currently weakened Ukrainian state will have the strength to do this," the expert said.

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