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But the physical organization of these protests, the building of barricades around squares, much of the camp construction and policing, and the pitched and sometimes deadly battles with police are almost entirely the work of the extreme right. In some of Ukraine’s smaller cities, the local protests and seizures of government buildings appear to have been entirely the work of Pravy Sektor.
Their highly visible presence has led Mr. Yanukovych to dismiss the protests as the product of “extremism, radicalism and incitement to hatred.” While the accusation is largely inaccurate, some protest supporters worry that the very visible and largely uncontrollable far right is giving the pro-European movement a bad name.
Here in Kiev, some members of the ragtag army of pipe-wielding, helmeted marshals and guards say they are supporters of the more mainstream right-wing Ukrainian-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, which won about 10 per cent of the vote in 2012 parliamentary elections and whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has a history of using anti-Semitic insults.
But the people in the largest and most aggressive group, who generally refuse to speak to journalists, are members of Pravy Sektor, an umbrella group of fascist, nationalist, football-hooligan and right-wing extremist gangs – some with neo-Nazi histories – which is generally considered to the right of Svoboda and which tends to be very secretive. It has not, to this point, been a political party.
A senior Pravy Sektor official, in a rare interview, told The Globe and Mail that the admiration his group has won from protesters for its heroic battles with police has led it to consider entering the electoral arena.
“When this revolution is finished, then we will be willing to think about it – if we were able to do so much for the country, then why not? People are disillusioned with the official opposition, and we should be listened to,” says Artem Skoropadsky , a slight, mild-looking 32-year-old activist who agreed to an interview, after lengthy negotiations with the people on the fifth floor, over beers at a cellar restaurant.
Pravy Sektor’s commander and figurehead is Dmitro Yarosh, a bald-headed, burly militant who rarely speaks. Mr. Skoropadsky describes himself as the group’s spokesman, but his language suggests that he has a leadership role. And he chooses to speak in Russian, indicating that he is from eastern Ukraine – which suggests that the group differs from the Ukrainian-nationalist focus of Svoboda, whose membership has sometimes been restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.
While he says Pravy Sektor is right-wing, Christian and intolerant of any foreign influence in Ukraine, he insists that they are not neo-Nazis or fascists and that they condemn outright racism. But keeping extremists out of a self-professed extremist group is, he admits, not always easy. Some Pravy Sektor members have been spotted wearing neo-Nazi symbols.
“Of course, it is difficult to control everyone,” he says. “I know one guy who’s got ‘14/88’ [a symbol referring to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf] painted on his shield. But we’re trying to purge them. We are a highly disciplined organization.”
Despite their history of extreme intolerance, Pravy Sektor has won the admiration of a surprising number of mainstream protest organizers.
So we help other countries anti-government protesters.
But in our own country, we . . . . . . . . .
Its a little more than 13. Though you really have to question all of this. FIRE. 13. Valentines Day/Week. Hey what gives!
Valentine and Bal, and death by fire....
So as usual, something other than the real people seem to be benefiting from this.
US President Barack Obama has threatened the Ukrainian government with “consequences” if the violence continues and the Ukrainian military steps into the conflict, Reuters reports.
Obama condemned the violence in Kiev in the strongest possible terms, saying he believes a peaceful resolution is still possible.
Found this video. At least based on what my acquaintances in Ukraine have told me, that is what majority of protesters believe in. I do not know whether it has been already shared or not.
reply to post by ArchAngel_X
Say what you will, for the time being it is a free internet where free speech reigns (and I'm happy for that), but spewing 60's lingo crap about this event and the 'people' is absolutely irresponsible and shows a total lack of education on the subject. Please do us all a favor and read more about this VERY complex situation before you choose to put your 2 cents in. Or just continue to do as you wish and wait for me to respond.