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Prawy Sektor tries the coup in Ukraine

(B2) Even if all eyes in Europe are on Greece, we must keep an alert mind on what is happening in the surrounding area, particularly in Ukraine where a new domestic front could open. The tension between the members of Prawy Sektor, a far-right paramilitary group (even neo-Nazis for some), and government forces in kyiv broke up.

A shooting in Mukachevo

Two people (of Prawy Sektor) were reportedly killed at least during a shooting which broke out on Saturday (July 11) in a cafe in Mukachevo, a town in Transcarpathia in western Ukraine, not far from the Hungarian and Slovak borders. A shootout pitted them against the police and the guards of Mikhailo Lanyo, deputy and former party of the regions. Several injured people were also taken to hospital – civilians, police officers – including at least one in critical condition, according to the report published by OSCE observers last night. The Prawy Sektor activists then took refuge in the forest. The authorities intend to disarm these various movements which could appear as a threat to security.

A return to “autonomous” movements?

Some representatives of the paramilitary movement, believing that they are victims of the government's desire to eliminate volunteer battalions, indicated that they were going to withdraw their fighters - notably from the 5th battalion - from war zones, according to the KyevPost, which also mentions the involvement of paramilitaries in cigarette smuggling. They demonstrated, noisily, in kyiv, in front of the presidential palace


The OSCE observers' report (12.7)

On 12 July, the SMM dispatched a patrol of the Ivano-Frankivsk-based team to monitor events in the wake of an armed incident that reportedly occurred the previous day in Mukachevo (Zakarpattia region, 605km south-west of Kyiv). According to media reports, at least two people were killed – reportedly members of the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) – and several others were injured in a shootout at a café allegedly owned by a member of parliament (Verkhovna Rada).

On its way to Mukachevo, the SMM observed heightened security measures, including several police checkpoints. At one such checkpoint, north of Mukachevo, about 2km from the alleged incident scene, the SMM saw the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arriving, with ten armored vans and two minibuses. At the time, the scene itself was made inaccessible by law enforcement for security reasons.

The SMM puts together with the Mukachevo mayor, deputy mayor, and a police spokesperson. According to the interlocutors, a task force from Kyiv, comprised of the SBU, the National Guard and the Prosecutor General's Office, was in charge of the on-going post-incident operation. According to them, other Right Sector members involved in the incident had hidden in a forest. At 18:02, near Stryi (120km north-east of Mukachevo), the SMM saw a Ukrainian Armed Forces convoy moving towards Mukachevo, comprised of 11 APCs, two trucks loaded with soldiers and one fuel truck.

The SMM spoke with the Mukachevo hospital director and two of his deputies, who said a man with a gunshot wound in his head, admitted to hospital on 11 July, was still in a critical state. According to them, on the same day five wounded civilians and five police had been admitted to hospital. On 12 July, they added, police had brought to hospital one dead body, and the SBU had brought two seriously injured persons. They said three civilians and three police admitted the previous day had been discharged today. The SMM will continue to monitor the situation.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).