Ukraine: Neo-Nazi leader shot dead during arrest
Oleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashka Bily ("Sasha White"), was killed last night in the town of Rivna na Volyni in northwestern Ukraine. The Ukrainian media first reported the case as one of murder and speculated that it might have been an action by "Russian diversionists" related to the international arrest warrant alleging that he murdered and tortured Russian captives in the Caucasus.
The Ukrainian authorities ultimately came forward with a version of events that labels Muzychko a wanted gangster who suffered fatal injuries during arrest. "Muzychko responded to the call of 'Stop! Police!' by jumping out a window and shooting at members of the Sokol special unit. The bullet he fired struck one police officer in the eyeglasses and became lodged in his helmet. The injured officer responded by firing at the feet of the fugitive. A fight took place during the arrest involving gunfire," said Ukraine's First Deputy Interior Minister Volodymyr Jevdokymov at a press conference in Kiev.
"When they arrested him, he was still alive. However, the crew of the ambulance called to the scene pronounced him dead," Interfax reports Jevdokymov as saying of the special police commando raid against Muzychko's gang in a café near Rivna.
Jevdokymov said police officers apprehended a total of three members of the criminal gang and confiscated a Makarov pistol and a Kalashnikov assault rifle from them. They have been transported to Kiev, where they are being interrogated on suspicion of banditry.
Interfax has noted that Muzychko was suspected of creating the gang. He was also reportedly infamous for his contacts with local authorities, including the prosecutor, to whom he allegedly gave orders on what to do.
News server newsru.com reports that at the time of his death, Muzychko was the commander of the Right Sector in western Ukraine. Russian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him earlier this month for allegedly murdering and torturing more than 20 captured Russian soldiers in Chechnya during the 1990s; according to Russian investigators, Muzychko allegedly "broke [the captives'] fingers, plucked out their eyeballs, pulled off their fingernails and tore out their teeth; he slit some people's throats and shot others."
"Two cars blocked his vehicle and they dragged him out of the car... Then they threw him on the ground. His hands [were] cuffed behind his back [and they fired] two rounds into his heart," Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Dony has posted to Facebook, allegedly describing Muzychko's death.
Local media outlets are reporting that those who "murdered" Muzychko made sure he was not wearing a bulletproof vest before shooting him in the heart. Shells from a Makarov pistol were reportedly found at the crime scene and detectives have confiscated CCTV footage from the cameras mounted on a café nearby.
Russia has also issued an international arrest warrant for Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, who is planning to run for president of Ukraine. The Kremlin and the Russian media are criticizing the entire new political team in Ukraine, as they believe it is connected to anti-Russian chauvinists and nationalists.
Yarosh has not just been called a person with neo-Nazi tendencies by Moscow, but also by many Western diplomats. The controversial quasi-military Right Sector movement turned into a political party last week, swallowing up other nationalist groups such as the Trident of Stepan Bandera movement and the Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian National Self-Defense movement (UNA-UNSO).
Right Sector drew attention to itself during the recent unrest in Kiev. The group provided protection for hardcore demonstrators against the regime of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose rule was subsequently subverted.
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