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Presidential candidate: Ukraine’s Kiev-appointed local authorities rely on hired gangs

April 11, 2014, 5:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Oleg Tsarev, groups of fighters include representatives of Right sector

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© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

MOSCOW, April 11, 4:35 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev says the new local authorities that Kiev has appointed in the country’s southern and eastern regions rely on militias hired especially for a crackdown on opponents of the new leadership.

“This job is being done by militants on the payroll of the local authorities,” Tsarev told the Russian government-published daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an interview. “In all regions of Ukraine’s South and East the newly-appointed governors have special deputies in charge of such matters. Each is in command of a group of about two hundred ‘hired soldiers’.”

Tsarev said the militias were not necessarily members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement.

“However, for good money and with reliance on radicals from other regions, who are invariably present in the capacity of commanders, and on local criminals the oligarchs can gather punitive squads quite easily,” Tsarev said.

He is certain that the authorities in Kiev prefer “the language of threats and individual terror.”

“We saw something similar on many occasions in the past: the Tonton Macoutes and death squads in Latin America, and Roehm’s storm troopers in Nazi Germany. The new authorities in Kiev, with their Right Sector and National Guard, consisting of former thugs, have not invented anything new,” Tsarev said.

Kiev’s policy towards the southeast, he says, is aimed at wiping out not only historical memory, but also the latest reminiscences of the “euro-revolution.”

“When the southeast is rises in revolt, it is slammed as separatism, and the protesters are labelled bandits,” he said. “A very convenient formula. They [new authorities] abuse even the laws they had introduced themselves, for instance, the amnesty for participants in mass unrest,” Tsarev said.

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