Dissatisfied with alleged concessions to Russia, the leader of the Right Sector battalion, Dmytro Yarosh, seeks a nationwide no-confidence referendum in President Petro Poroshenko.
The Right Sector is an illegal battalion that Kiev tolerates because its fighters are well-trained, well-equipped, and willing to take on the separatists.
There is growing unease in Kiev over the Right Sector, because of Yarosh’s call for a vote of no-confidence along with some in the group openly threatening a military coup.
Russia claims (likely accurately), Right Sector neo-Nazis were responsible for the violence in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution that ousted then-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
Please consider Fears Grow as Ukraine Rightwing Militia Puts Kiev in its Sights.
Fears are growing that Right Sector — the only major volunteer battalion Kiev has not yet managed to bring under regular army control — could turn its fire on the new government itself.
Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector’s leader, called late last month for a nationwide no-confidence referendum in President Petro Poroshenko. He was addressing a rally in Kiev of up to 5,000 Right Sector activists, angry over what they say is the government’s slow progress in fighting corruption and excessive concessions to Moscow as it attempts to reach a settlement over eastern Ukraine.
“We are an organised revolutionary force that is opening the new phase of the Ukrainian revolution,” Mr Yarosh told the rally.
Right Sector fighters regularly drive outside the base in camouflaged jeeps, passing freely through security checkpoints despite having their own — illegal — licence plates identifying them as Right Sector.
“We could send up to 10,000 fighters to the frontline,” said Artem Skoropadsky, a spokesperson for Right Sector.
Though the group’s fighters admit they constitute an illegal armed force, they blame Ukraine’s parliament for dragging its feet in legislating to legalise them as a single elite unit under Ukrainian army command.
“It may come to a military coup,” said one Right Sector fighter — although many in the group say they would not go that far. He admitted, however, that public support for such a scenario was low. “That’s why we haven’t done it yet.”
Mike “Mish” Shedlock