In Ukraine, May 20, 2016 (go to original weblink for photos and video reporting)

Ultranationalist extremists march in Kyiv on May 20, 2016 (Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

Ultranationalist extremists march in Kyiv on May 20, 2016 (Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

Thousands of nationalists are protesting in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev. The demonstrators are threatening to oust Ukrainian MPs and Petro Poroshenko’s administration if Kiev allows elections in Donbass.

According to Kiev police, an estimated crowd of over 2,000 people have joined the protest, although organizers have said that at least 8,000 people are attending the event.

“Today is just the beginning, but it is not the last rally. We must be vigilant , to expect this betrayal [Donbass elections] every second , because they [Kiev authorities] will try to hold these elections quietly … In case of treacherous elections, we will oust the parliament and the presidential administration, and find new deputies,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

He also called for Kiev to withdraw from the Minsk Agreements regarding eastern Ukraine.

Members of paramilitary 'Azov Battalion' hold banner reading 'National requirement - no surrender' at extremist march in Kyiv on May 20, 2016 (Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

Members of paramilitary ‘Azov Battalion’ hold banner reading ‘National requirement – no surrender’ at extremist march in Kyiv on May 20, 2016 (Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

The Minsk agreement of February 2015 on the Ukrainian conflict stipulated a full ceasefire, a weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine and an all-for-all prisoner exchange – leading to local elections and constitutional reforms, which would give special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

The conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in the spring of 2014 when Kiev sent troops to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions after they refused to recognize the new coup-imposed authorities in the capital. A ceasefire was finally reached after over a year of fighting in which over 9,000 were killed. However, the region still sees occasional violations of the truce from both sides [sic].

Among the participants of the rally were members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement, as well as fighters from the Azov militia battalion, which includes many far-right zealots in its ranks.

Right Sector is an association of Ukrainian far right groups known for its role in the street violence that resulted in the 2014 coup in Kiev, which ousted the lawfully-elected president and eventually brought to power the current Ukrainian regime. It is believed that Right Sector was behind a massacre in Odessa, where dozens of people were killed in May 2014 during a rally against the policies of the new authorities in Kiev.

In November 2014, the Russian Supreme Court recognized Right Sector and another Ukrainian ultranationalist organization – UNA-UNSO – as extremist and ordered a ban on all activities of these groups in Russia.


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