News / Europe

Ukraine's Nationalists Continue Protest at Parliament

Ukraine's Nationalists Protest at Parliamenti
X
Daniel Schearf
March 29, 2014 1:02 AM
Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov has condemned the ultra-nationalist movement "Right Sector" after it protested outside parliament, saying the group is bent on "destabilization." Nationalist groups have fueled Russian propaganda claims of Nazis and fascists controlling Kyiv, an excuse Moscow used to annex Crimea. As VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv, many want to see them off the streets and quickly integrated into mainstream institutions.
Ukraine's Nationalists Protest at Parliament
Daniel Schearf
Ukraine's interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, has condemned the ultra-nationalist Right Sector after it protested outside parliament, saying the group is bent on "destabilization." 

Nationalist groups have fueled Russian propaganda claims that Nazis and fascists are in control in Kyiv, an excuse Moscow used to annex Crimea. Many Ukrainians want to see them off the streets and quickly integrated into mainstream institutions.

Ukrainian nationalists protested outside parliament Friday waiting for a vote to remove Interior Minister Arsen Avakov from his post. One radical group, Right Sector, blames the minister for the shooting death of one of its more militant leaders this week in western Ukraine.

'Self-defense forces'

Dressed in military fatigues, some wore flak jackets and carried clubs, riot shields and even hatchets.

Ukraine's “self-defense forces,” formed during recent anti-government protests, lined up at the main entrance to prevent provocation.

The night before, enraged nationalists marched to the parliament demanding Avakov's immediate resignation. Some in the crowd tried to break into the building before parliamentarians calmed them down, promising a vote on whether he should keep his job.

On Friday, the vote was cancelled and an investigation promised, but radicals in the crowd reacted remarkably calmly.

Right Sector East political head Kiva Ilya said they only want justice.

“Our task is to maintain calm and not to make the Russian government see the situation in Ukraine as out of control," he said. "The 'Right Sector' is on the side of law in all our actions.”

Myriad concerns

But many here disagree, and worry the ultra-nationalist groups could become violent if they are not soon integrated into Ukraine's defense forces and politics.

This would play into the hands of the Kremlin, warned Vasil Korus, a Ukrainian Orthodox Priest who was talking to protesters.

“Yesterday we were praying that all of this will not give any advantage to Putin," he said. "Because we know, and we understand, that if they act aggressively this will be an advantage for Putin.”

Radical nationalists were on the front lines of clashes with riot police that ended with Ukraine's Moscow-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych, fleeing to Russia.

Over 100 people, mainly civilians, died in the fighting.

Hard-core nationalists are still camped out in Kyiv's central square because they do not quite trust Ukraine's interim government.

Ukrainian parliamentarian Inna Bogoslovska said the feeling is mutual.

“The 'Right Sector' has a huge responsibility. Because if they want to become a political party, and this is the right thing to do, the first thing is make sure there is nothing that can be used to pull their strings," she said. "They have be sure nobody can influence them and that there are no provocateurs and criminals.”

Armed, volatile

Nationalists, including Right Sector members, are already joining Ukraine's military and a National Guard that formed just last week.

In a recent interview with VOA, however, Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh, who also is a presidential candidate, said they have no intention of disarming.

"Regarding the arms, let's not forget the dangers that the Ukrainian people are now facing," he said. "That is, outside aggression as well as a completely unreformed ministry of internal affairs that has already distinguished itself with kidnappings and terror campaigns against its own people."

Recent polls show the radical groups have very little public support, but some worry that, come election time, they may demand more for their sacrifices.

Ukraine's revolutionary fighters could become a dangerous liability.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 29, 2014 1:25 AM
CRAZY isn't it? ... The western news media report the "Ukraine Nationalists" protest at Parliament... (INSTEAD?) .. of calling them neo-Nazi, Right Sector, and ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremists, protesting at Parliament? .. (YEA?) .. Ukraine is a non-Democratic country now, ruled by criminals....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More