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Ukrainian paramilitaries warn they may upset Kiev-EU air links

February 25, 2015, 14:23 UTC+3 KIEV
The All-Ukraine Battalion Brotherhood positions itself as a crusader against corruption and lack of reform
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Passengers at Borispol airport (archive)

Passengers at Borispol airport (archive)

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, February 25. /TASS/. A group of Ukrainian paramilitaries protesting at Kiev’s Borispol Airport have warned they may cause a suspension of air links with the EU countries, the daily Ukrainski Noviny (Ukrainian News) said on Wednesday.

According to the daily several dozen men in combat fatigues are rallying in the square in front of the airport building.

"The purpose of the rally is to demonstrate the military may easily upset air links with the EU countries, if their leadership fail to realize that support for Ukraine’s current authorities is criminal," the daily quotes one of the demonstrators as saying.

Later in the day Borispol Airport may see Ukraine’s first ever legal strike by employees of the state-run transport enterprise Official Delegations Hall. The independent trade union and the employees will demand a stop to illegal personnel dismissals and raider attacks against the enterprise.

The previous protest action by the Battalion Brotherhood, relatives of the Kievan Rus battalion and members of the Mothers’ Council was on February 3. It began in front of the Ukrainian parliament building in the morning. The demonstrators demanded the introduction of martial law and the dismissal of all key government ministers and officials related with military, security and law enforcement affairs - from defence minister to prosecutor-general. The demonstrators’ leaders were allowed into the parliament building for a statement in the lobby. Then the protesters made a decision to proceed towards the presidential staff office to present their demands to Pyotr Poroshenko. At a certain point the demonstrators tried to storm the presidential staff office and even managed to get through the first cordon of the national guards, their ultimate aim being access to the conference hall and a live TV studio for making a statement.

The Battalion Brotherhood’s leader, Vyacheslav Fursa was arrested late at night shortly after the attack. His health has deteriorated since. According to media reports he is in a prison hospital.

The All-Ukraine Battalion Brotherhood was founded in November 2014. Its constituent conference took place on November 6. The 68 delegates from volunteer battalions and volunteer groups voted for the organization’s Charter. The Battalion Brotherhood positions itself as a crusader against corruption, lack of reform and also legislators and officials who were loyal to (Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych) but have managed to get into parliament again.

The Battalion Brotherhood’s leader since 2014 has been a member of the extremist organization Right Sector, outlawed in Russia. During unrest in Kiev’s Independence Square he was the Right Sector’s coordinator in the Kiev Region.

Last November Russia’s Constitutional Court declared Right Sector as an extremist organization and prohibited its operation in Russia.

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