Right Sector abducts, tortures people – Zakarpattia region governor

Дата: 21 July 2015
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Thirteen representatives of the Zakarpattia region branch of the far-right Right Sector volunteer battalion are suspected of abducting and torturing people. The police have received a large number of statements from the victims, who previously were afraid to give testimonies.

Head of Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Hennady Moskal has posted this information on his official website. He noted that the criminal proceedings were initiated under the Article 257 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Gangsterism” (organizing an armed criminal gang for the purpose of attacking businesses, institutions, organizations or private individuals, and also participation in such gang or its attacks).

The Article provides for punishment in form of imprisonment for a term of five to fifteen years with the forfeiture of property. The suspects are thirteen people aged 18 to 39 years. Twelve of them are residents of Zakarpattia region, while one is resident of Slovyansk, Donetsk region.

Shootout in Mukacheve was only a minor part of their activities, Moskal says, “Earlier, they abducted and tortured people for profit, squeezed money from businessmen seized property, using illegal firearms, including automatic weapons, machine guns, and grenade launchers. It was actually racket, trite earning money, but the worst thing that was done under the guise of patriotic slogans.”

According to the governor, the police have collected a large number of statements from the victims, who previously were afraid to call the police and did not even hope that the Right Sector representatives would be held liable. As a reminder, July 11, in town of Mukacheve, Zakarpattia region, western Ukraine, the shootout between the Right Sector fighters and police officers took place near the Antares sports complex, which belongs to MP Mykhailo Lanyo. The parties accused each other of covering up smuggling flows in the region. Speaker for the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps of the Right Sector organization Andriy Sharaskin told 112.ua that the Right Sector connects the Mukacheve incident to the fact that the organization had blocked smuggling channels in Zakarpattia, UNIAN Ukraine’s news outlet reports.

Members of the Right Sector’s first reserve battalion have been blocking smuggling channels for long. In this connection, they have received multiple threats. After they started to control and block flows of smuggled goods at the [local] customs house, a meeting on this was gathered yesterday. And local gangsters who shelter themselves behind Mykhailo Lanyo fixed an appointment at the Antares [sports] complex at noon today. The fellows immediately informed [us] that local policemen had joined the bandits. Just a few seconds after they ordered our fellows to disarm, fire was opened on them from a heavy machine gun. It was an attempt to eliminate them all at once,” he said.

As reported by the Security Service of Ukraine, two Right Sector members were detained on July 13. Other fighters fled into the mountains near Mukacheve, and still cannot be found. Meanwhile, the residents of several villages near the town saw the armed young men. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh said that the fighters needed weapons for safety reasons as they “organized the blockade of smuggling flows on the border and received death threats from the local mafia.”

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