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Ukraine Nationalist Leader Faces Terrorism Charges

Published: March 5, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • Members of radical group Right Sector have been widely seen as thedriving force behind theprotests inKiev
    Photo: Darko Bandic / AP

MOSCOW Russias Investigative Committee has opened acriminal case onterrorism-related charges against theleader ofa Ukrainian nationalist group widely seen as thedriving force behind the ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin onMonday said Dmytro Yarosh, theleader ofthe ultranationalist group Right Sector (Pravy Sektor), was wanted forpublic appeals tocommit acts ofterrorism onRussian soil andacts ofextremism, charges that carry up toseven andfive years inprison, respectively.

Related: Domodedovo Terrorist Attack Plotters Sentenced

Investigators say Yarosh posted astatement onthe groups VKontakte page urging theIslamist insurgent leader Doku Umarov often referred toas Russias equivalent ofBin Laden tojoin Ukraine infighting theKremlin. TheRight Sector has denied thecharges, however, saying that people hired bythe Kremlin had hacked thegroups official VKontakte page andwritten afake appeal toUmarov that was falsely attributed toYarosh.

TheRight Sector was widely seen as thedriving force behind theprotests inKiev that led toa violent uprising against thegovernment andheightened tensions with Russia. Thegroup gained prominence when theprotests became more radical inJanuary andFebruary, after themainstream opposition andSvoboda, amore moderate nationalist party, began tolose their appeal.

Yarosh rose inpopularity forhis role inthe protests andwas appointed adeputy chairman ofUkraines National Security andDefense Council last month.

Related: Ukraine Unrest Unlikely to Spread

It is forthis reason that thegroup believes Yarosh has been accused ofcolluding with aterrorist tovillainize him andeliminate any influence he may have had among Ukrainians.

Inthe VKontakte message that prompted criminal charges byRussian investigators, theauthor said that many Ukrainians had participated inthe same liberation war being waged byChechens andother North Caucasus peoples. Members ofUNA-UNSO, one ofthe groups constituting theRight Sector, reportedly fought against Russians inthe Georgian-Abkhazian conflict andfirst Chechen War inthe 1990s.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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