Controversial Ultra-Nationalist Group Joins Ukrainian Army
Dmitri Yarosh, the leader of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist “Right Sector” party was appointed as an adviser to the Ukrainian army’s Chief of Staff Viktor Muzhenko, according to the Defense Department in Kiev. Additionally, thousands of the party’s supporters will also join the army, as part of an agreement with the Ukrainian government.
A number of major international news organizations have described some of Right Sector’s constituent groups as radical right-wing, neofascist, or neo-Nazi.
Yarosh has denied allegations of anti-Semitism, but in a book he wrote “I wonder how it came to pass that most of the billionaires in Ukraine are Jews?”
The Department of Defense said that Yarosh – who is wanted by Interpol at the behest of Russia because of his role in the 2014 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine – mobilized tens of thousands of his militia’s members, considered a paramilitary force, to join the Ukrainian army and serve under the order of its military commanders.
In a joint statement by Yarosh and Mozhkenko, they noted that their decision to cooperate stemmed from the need for unity in the ranks. They noted that the Right Sector’s volunteers for the army are ready to cooperate with its command and perform the tasks the armed forces require of them. The volunteers expressed their willingness to obey the army’s leadership on military matters as they relate to national security in the face of an external enemy, to ensure the country’s defense.
After signing the agreement, Yarosh noted that he thought this would be a “good option for people that have not been able to free themselves from the idea of fighting a war that is echoing in their head. It will also provide jobs to many people, and stability in the country.”
Yarosh founded his movement last year during the revolution that replaced the Ukrainian government.
Previously, Yarosh had rejected having his group join the armed forces.