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Expert: Ultra-right forces trying to use Mukachevo conflict as basis for election campaign

July 13, 2015, 19:59 UTC+3 KIEV
The Right Sector demanded not only the release of its representatives, but also the resignation of Interior Minister, putting forward such political demands as refusing decentralization
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KIEV, July 13. /TASS/. The ultra-right forces in Ukraine are trying to use the situation in the town of Mukachevo as a basis for their election campaign, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management Ruslan Bortnik told TASS on Monday.

"In this situation, it is interesting that the Right Sector [extremist organization banned in Russia] immediately started demanding not only the release of its representatives, but also the resignation of Interior Minister [Arsen Avakov], puting forward such political demands as refusing decentralization, holding snap parliamentary election, cancelling deputies’ immunity, adopting law on presidential impeachment and so on — in other words, a whole package of political demands," Bortnik said. This "demonstrates that the Right Sector is trying to use the situation as a basis for its election campaign and platform," he noted.

The expert said that there are two reasons of the conflict in Mukachevo. "The first one is exacerbating confrontation between Ukrainian financial and industrial groups, political and military groups for scarce economic resources that are rapidly shrinking. The second reason is the set of problems that have accumulated between the Ukrainian ultra-right movement and official authorities," the political analyst stressed.

Bortnik said that similar conflict "will definitely happen again in Ukraine, not necessarily with the Right Sector, but with the participation of armed people who got weapons in the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] zone."

On Saturday, July 11, gunmen of the Right Sector extremist group opened fire from small arms at their opponents while discussing the "redistribution of spheres of influence" in Mukachevo. The extremists later opened fire from rifles, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers at the police who arrived at the scene. They destroyed several police vehicles and also set fire to a traffic police checkpoint and a petrol station. As a result, three people were killed and 11 more were wounded. Some of the gunmen were later blocked in a wooded area near the town. The Right Sector says two of its gunmen were killed and four wounded. Prosecutors described the incident as a terrorist attack.

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