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Ukrainian radical ultra-nationalists assault, shoot taxi driver for speaking Russian

May 15, 2017, 16:35 UTC+3 KIEV

A conflict emerged when three passengers had made negative comments about the taxi driver speaking Russian

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

KIEV, May 15. /TASS/. A taxi driver in the Ukrainian town of Kamenskoye (former Dneprodzerzhinsk), the Dnepropetrovsk region, was physically assaulted and shot for speaking Russian, Spokesperson for the local police Anna Starchevskaya said on Monday.

According to her, a conflict emerged when three passengers had made negative comments about the taxi driver speaking Russian. "This was the reason for the conflict which ended in a shooting," the 112.UA TV channel reported citing the police spokesperson.

"One of the passengers attacked the taxi driver with a stick but the driver managed to get out of the car and run, so another passenger fired several shots at him," Starchevskaya said. When other taxi drivers came to their colleague’s rescue, "there were several more gunshots."

As a result, one of the taxi drivers got shot in the leg and was taken to hospital, while the shooter was arrested. A Makarov pistol was recovered from the scene of the crime.

According to the local Sobytiye (or Event) newspaper, Ukrainian ultra-nationalist extremists opened fire after the taxi driver refused to respond with the slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine’ which the suspects demanded he shout. The newspaper added that the suspect in custody was a bodyguard of Dmitry Yarosh, who headed the Pravy Sektor nationalist party in 2013-2015 and now is an adviser to the Ukrainian Chief of General Staff.

Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes is a slogan and a salutation phrase uttered by members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (both outlawed in Russia) during World War II.

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