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article imageRight Sector protests make demands after activist killed

By Ken Hanly     Mar 30, 2014 in Politics
Kiev - Subsequent to the killing of Right Sector activist Sashko Billy in the western Ukraine city of Rivne, Right Sector militants picketed parliament after earlier trying to force their way into the building to prevent a vote on austerity measures.
The Right Sector played an important role in the Maidan protests being one of the more aggressive groups. On Friday many of their activists stood guard at the Verkhovna Rada the parliament building to demand that MP's dismiss Arsen Avakov the Interior Minister whom they hold responsible for the killing of the activist Oleksandr Muzychko or Sashko Billy. A draft bill by an independent MP may have prevented a planned siege on the building. Speaker Aleksandr Turchinov branded the Right Sector action a provocation.
On Thursday the group was able to muster around one thousand on Constitution Square outside the parliament. On Friday many activists swarmed around the parliament building again. According to Kyivpost: Several hundred members and supporters of the militant nationalist Right Sector swarmed Ukraine’s parliament building for the second day in a row on March 28 to demand the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and a fair investigation into the suspicious death earlier in the week of one of its leaders.
Many in the group, outfitted in military fatigues, bulletproof vests and balaclavas, carried clubs, hunting knives and hatchets, but they did not use them. They remained peaceful and positioned outside the doors through the afternoon as lawmakers took part in a session inside.
Independent lawmaker Yurly Dervlanko announced that there would be an interim commission set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Sashko Billy. He told the protesters on March 27: “Truth (in Muzychko’s death) should be established. Thus, an interim commission will be set up in parliament on March 28 to probe into the case with obligatory participation of Right Sector representatives,”
232 of 279 lawmakers voted for the inquiry. The commission will have representatives from all factions plus three representatives of public organizations. Avakov said he would publish audio files within the next days that would shed light on the events leading to the death of Sashko Billy. Avakov defended the action against Sashko:“Those who actually want to know the truth about Muzychko’s death during the shootout should take as much information as they need. The Interior Ministry will provide access to all the documents, material evidence, videos and audio facts, Within the next couple of days the Interior Ministry will declassify the audio files linked with this case and will make them public. This will give society greater access to information about the activities of the suspects in this case. Everyone will be able to make his own decision on who is a hero and who is a vulgar bandit.”
There is no doubt that Sashko was a violent person as shown on the appended video but this hardly explains the conflicting stories about his death. The Ukrainian interim president Olexander Turchynov has condemned the tactics of the Right Sector as destabilizing. Russia has put the leader Dmytro Yarosh on its most wanted list for alleged crimes against Russia. Turchynov said: “There is an attempt to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, it its center, in its heart, in Kiev,” Turchinov even suggested that Russia was supporting the Right Sector to destabilize the Ukraine. There are even unconfirmed reports that actions may be taken against the Right Sector: Amid the confrontation an unconfirmed report claimed that the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are debating whether they should issue sanctions against Right Sector or completely outlaw it.
Even the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton chimed in to condemn the action of the Right Sector at the parliament and urged them to refrain from violence.
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