MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on extremist charges against the leaders of Ukraine’s Right Sector - Dmitry Yarosh, Andrey Tarasenko, Andrey Stempitsky, Valery Voronov and Artyom Skoropadsky, as well as other members of the organization.
"The department for investigating crimes involving the use of outlawed means and methods of war of the Investigative Committee’s Main Investigations Directorate in cooperation with the Federal Security Service FSB and the Interior Ministry has obtained evidence against the leaders and activists of the Ukrainian extremist organization Right Sector, which is outlawed in Russia under a resolution passed by the Supreme Court of Russia," the IC’s press-service said.
"On the basis of the collected evidence criminal proceedings were instituted against the Right Sector leaders - Dmitry Yarosh, Andrey Tarasenko, other senior members of that organization Andrey Stempitsky, Valery Voronov and Artyom Skoropadsky and other persons under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code (Criminal Organization Activities).
According to the IC, the Right Sector group, which Yarosh established in 2013, professes an ideology of radical Ukrainian nationalism, outspoken Russophobia and Nazism. The organization proclaimed that its task was to offer armed resistance to what it described as "Moscow’s aggression" - in fact an excuse for the use of violence for political, radial, ethnic and religious grounds.
The Right Sector incorporates the leaders and activists of a number of Ukrainian ultra-radical organizations and movements, such as Trizub (Trident) named after Stepan Bandera, UNA-UNSO, Ukrainian rebel army UPA, Brotherhood, Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Group S14, Carpathian Sich, and association of radically-minded football fans.
"Starting from 2014 and up to this day the leaders and activists of the Right Sector have systematically planned and commit crimes against Russia and its citizens and diplomatic officers in Ukrainian territory, as well as against Russian-speaking civilians," the IC said.
Taking part in the organization’s activity is Russian citizen Artyom Skoropadsky - the chief of the Right Sector’s press-service, who has regularly appeared in the mass media and in the world web as well as various public events and gatherings for propaganda of the organization’s criminal ideology and calls for participation in extremist crimes.
The IC estimates the Right Sector’s strength at 5,000 militants - citizens of Ukraine, Russia and other states. In each Ukrainian region the organization has command centers that coordinate the activists locally.
"Alongside this the organization’s leaders have established cells in Europe and North America," the IC said, adding that Yarosh and his associates were pushing ahead with their criminal activities with the tacit connivance and approval of the Ukrainian leadership.