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Chaos in Kiev: Ukraine Army Now Fighting Against Its Own Militias

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission claims that Right Sector confirmed that they were attacked by government forces

The article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova

Rebels in Ukraine have reported a strange incident in Donbass: unknown persons have attacked a position of the extreme right-wing militia. The OSCE observers confirm the incident. The Russians cannot believe their eyes, but they are on the alert as the attack could be a provocation to pin it on the Russians. The bustle is financed by European taxpayers.

<figcaption>Who calls the shots now?</figcaption>
Who calls the shots now?

In Donbass the Ukrainian military carried out an operation against the allied right-wing extremist militias. The rebels observed the incident with astonishment. They were initially unsure whether the militias had been attacked by the Ukrainian army or foreign mercenaries.

“Our reconnaissance officers observed an exchange of fire in the ranks of Ukrainian units on Tuesday morning at five o’clock. An unknown unit stormed and captured . . .  a base of nationalist militias. They used silent, deadly weapons that are not of the Kalashnikov class but are apparently produced by Western companies. . . . This is the first time since the outbreak of the conflict that we observe such an operation on the territory controled by Kiev,” the Russian news agency Tass quoted the rebel spokesperson Eduard Basurin as saying.

According to later reports provided by the rebel spokesperson, four right-wing militia members were killed and taken away in plastic coffins.

The OSCE confirmed the incident in a message: “After a series of media reports about a confrontation between the Ukrainian armed forces and members of the volunteer militia of Right Sector, which happened in a military camp in Velikomykhailivka (117 kilometers southeast of Dnipropetrovsk) on April 28, the OSCE observer group contacted the regional leaders of Rights Sector. They replied that members of Right Sector had refused to lay down their weapons as requested by the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian military did not comment but said that the OSCE observer group should avoid traveling to the military camp.”

After the incident, the head of Right Sector, Dmytro Jarosch, threatened to stage a coup in Kiev.

In recent months, there have been 17 disputes between volunteer militias in the east of Ukraine and the government in Kiev. Yatsenyuk wants to gain control over the militias. But the militias refuse to be directly subordinate to the government. The commander of the volunteer battalion ‘Donbass’, Semen Semenchenko, in February announced the creation of a central body to coordinate all voluntary battalions. He had come to the “objective understanding” that the official General Staff was not able to coordinate the volunteer organizations in the fight against the rebels.

Rights Sector in a message to President Petro Poroshenko and the parliament called for a special law for the militias to give them official military status. If this happens, the right-wing extremists could be funded by taxpayers. Since Ukraine is broke, this would involve European taxpayers' money.

The conflict comes as a surprise given that the Ukrainian army declared a few days ago its intention to integrate the right-wing extremists into the regular army. The militias would, however, remain under the independent command of Jarosch.

The Russians cannot believe what they are seeing, but they are on guard because the fighting could also be used to point the finger at Moscow as perpetrator of the attacks on the militia and for the possible failures of the far right.

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