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Lavrov Says Nationalists to Blame for Kiev Snipers

Published: March 31, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at an Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012.
    Photo: M. Stulov / Vedomosti

In an interview given to Russian state media on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that snipers who wounded and killed numerous protesters during the Euromaidan movement could have been lead by the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector.

Although he noted that he was not 100 percent certain, Lavrov said that "many factors point to this [conclusion]," RIA Novosti reported. The minister said there was evidence suggesting several cases of violence instigated by the group, which, according to the long-serving official, includes the organization of the snipers in central Kiev.

Lavrov also noted that Moscow has already shared their concerns about nationalists with Western partners, and he hopes that the investigation of the issue will not be "swept under the carpet."

Right Sector has been under the spotlight in recent days after Ukrainian security forces killed one of the group's leaders during an attempt to arrest him in western Ukraine, sparking anti-government statements from and the subsequent detention of some of the group's members.

During Sunday's interview on Russia's Channel One, Lavrov said that Russia is fully behind the establishment of a new Ukrainian constitution that provides for a federal structure that would protect the right's of Russian speakers in the country's east.

Lavrov also said he hoped Russia and Western countries could "express a common position" with regards to matters in Kiev, stating that the West had previously tried to "separate Ukraine from Russia."

The interview came after Lavrov categorically denied Western claims that Russia was planning an invasion of Ukraine, having positioned troops close to its borders, saying, "We have absolutely no intention and no interests in crossing the borders of Ukraine."

Western leaders are concerned that Russia is planning an incursion into mainland Ukraine, after initial violence in Kiev led to Moscow's claims that Russians in the country were under threat, an explanation that ultimately led to Russia's annexing Crimea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Lavrov Sunday evening in Paris to discuss Ukraine for the first time since Russia and the U.S. exchanged sanctions following the annexation.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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