Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian group attacks police units in western Ukrainian town

Violence erupted in the small town of Mukacheve, Ukraine when members of the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector (Praviy Sektor) opened fire on unarmed citizens, and later local police when law enforcement arrived to respond to the outbreak of gunfire.

Citing an infringement of business interests between Right Sector troops and Ukrainian Supreme Rada deputy Mikhail Lanyo, who has a stake in business operations in the region, Right Sector troops reportedly opened fire when Lanyo appeared to negotiate a business agreement.

The Mukacheve area, immediately to the east of the Slovakian and Hungarian border with Ukraine, is well known for smuggling.

Shortly after the mayhem erupted, Mukacheve police, SWAT units and the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) responded, evacuated the injured and attempted to secure the area.  As the Right Sector troops withdrew into the hills, a gun battle ensued.  The SBU responded to the media shortly afterward:

“Taking into account the danger for the villagers in the area where the so-called Right Sector militants barricaded themselves, the evacuation of civilians, especially children, is being carried out,” the SBU statement reads.

The Right Sector’s leader, Dmitry Yarosh, who is also wanted by INTERPOL, intervened and attempted to negotiate with the group after they fled into the hills surrounding Mukacheve.  The group has stated they will not surrender unless they receive a direct order from Yarosh.

Speaking to the media in Kyiv, Right Sector spokesman, Artem Skoropadsky, said the organization’s leader, Dmitry Yarosh, hasn’t given an order to his fighters to lay down their arms.

Russia’s hands are clean on this one.

Despite protests from human-rights groups, such as Amnesty International, which have alleged Right Sector has been involved in the torture of civilians, Kyiv has not objected to the assimilation of their members into the Ukrainian armed forces.

What conclusion are observers to draw when an elected MP of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada is associated with a group which sympathizes with fascism and whose leader is wanted by INTERPOL?