Ukraine far-right rally after police shoot leader dead

27th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of Ukrainian far-right nationalists rallied outside the parliament building in Kiev Thursday night, smashing windows and demanding the interior minister's resignation, days after police shot dead one of their leaders.

Elite police on Monday killed Oleksandr Muzytchko, the regional leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), in a shootout that erupted during a raid to arrest him in the western city of Rivne.

The authorities have said that Muzytchko opened fire first, and was killed by a bullet from his own weapon.

Pravy Sektor played a crucial role in the deadly protests that unseated pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month, and has been branded a neo-Nazi organisation by Russia.

Brandishing the red-and-black flags of the paramilitary group, up to 1,000 people rallied near parliament to demand the sacking of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Activists smashed several windows and threatened to force their way into the building, before retreating with a vow to return on Friday morning.

Pravy Sektor on Saturday formed a political party, electing Dmytro Yarosh as its nationwide leader and putting forward his name as candidate in Ukraine's presidential election on May 25.

According to Russian news agencies, the group's slain leader was wanted in Russia, which accuses him of causing the death of some 20 Russian soldiers while fighting alongside separatists in Chechnya.

The heavily built Muzytchko was notorious for YouTube videos in which he was seen brandishing a Kalashnikov in Rivne city council, and roughing up the city's prosecutor.

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© 2014 AFP

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