Russia issues international arrest warrant for leader of Ukraine's "Right Sector"
Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for the leader of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement, Dmytro Yarosh. Russian press agencies quoted a representative of Russia's Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, as announcing the news.
"Through Interpol, an international search for Yarosh has been announced. A request for his arrest as a person charged in absentia has been issued," Interfax quoted Markin as saying.
On Monday the committee announced it had begun criminal prosecution of Yarosh in absentia. Markin justified by the move by saying Yarosh had publicly called for extremism and terrorism.
Markin said the committee was asking that the Right Sector leader be remanded into custody. The reason for his criminal prosecution in Russia is a call to action published from the Right Sector account with the VK social networking site to Doku Umarov, a leader of terrorists in the northern Caucasus, Markin said.
"Many Ukrainians, with weapons in their hands, supported the liberation struggle of the Chechens and other Caucasian nations. The time has come to support Ukraine!" the message allegedly reads.
Right Sector subsequently denied that it had issued the call to action. The group claims its VK page was hacked.
Yarosh's Right Sector group, whose core is comprised of radical Dynamo Kiev football club fans, was one of the most active forces in the recent anti-government protests. His supporters broke several agreements with the authorities and played a leading role in occupying official buildings in Kiev.
Even Vitali Klitschko, the popular leader of the Ukrainian opposition, has never gotten the Right Sector to tone itself down. Yarosh's speeches are strongly anti-communist and anti-Russian.
Yarosh considers his main aim to be promoting the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism in accordance with the ideas of Stepan Bandera, the controversial head of the Ukrainian nationalist brigades during WWII. The Right Sector leader was previously the head of the radically-oriented "Trident of Stepan Bandera" movement and remains active in it today.
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