KHARKOV, March 15, /ITAR-TASS/. Two people were killed and another two injured in clashes between residents of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov and militants from the Right Sector (radical Ukrainian group), Kharkov mayor Gennady Kernes said Saturday.
An Itar-Tass correspondent reports that 40-50 militants are in the building hosting the Right Sector headquarters. The police cordoned off the building, and a special operation is underway. The mayor is holding talks with radicals.
A representative of the local movement against Maidan protests told an Itar-Tass correspondent earlier today that clashes were underway between Kharkov residents and militants reportedly from western Ukraine on Rymarskaya Street (in downtown Kharkov).
The activist said Kharkov defenders were standing against militants, presumably from the Right Sector, who were shooting from assault rifles. Reports also said fire was delivered and stun grenades and Molotov cocktails thrown from the windows of the building hosting the Right Sector headquarters.
Maidan is the name for downtown Kiev's Independence Square, which is the symbol of Ukrainian protests. The word “Maidan” is also used as a collective name for anti-government protests in Ukraine.
Right Sector activists were reportedly involved in clashes with police in Ukraine’s anti-government protests that started in November 2013 when the country’s authorities refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The Ukrainian protests led to a coup in the country in February. President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Yanukovich told reporters in south Russia on Tuesday that he remained the legitimate Ukrainian president despite “an anti-constitutional seizure of power by armed radicals.