Right Sector battalion transfers to Azov


July 13, 2015

Right Sector battalion transfers to Azov

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

According to its commander Ruslan Kachmala, the time of illegal armed formations in Ukraine has passed.

The seventh separate battalion of the RS has joined the Azov regiment, according to its commander Ruslan Kamchala (“Rem”) and TV channel 112.

–Our motives are simple. We’ve been fighting all this time, and the RS has not legalized itself. Rather the opposite, it is now more corrupt and is operating outside the law, Kamchala said.
–Therefore we decided to leave the RS as a unit. I personally left the RS a long time ago, but did not make it known. Now we will join official structures while remaining on our original positions.

According to Rem, the decision concerning the necessity to legalize was taken a long time ago, though the process of inducting the militants into the National Guard has begun only now. It will concern 40 RS members.

–The era of illegal battalions is over. Many armed RS people have gone out of control. While the RS people on the front lines are sitting there on their bare asses, armed with only one grenade–Kamchala is cited by Ukrainian edia.

He also said that he wanted to discuss his decision with RS leader Yarosh but couldn’t reach him by phone.

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Rem told journalists at a press conference that he condemns the events at Mukachevo. What happened there only accelerated his battalion’s departure from the RS. Kachmala said that as of late RS has tended to engage in criminal activities, whereas earlier they were genuinely fighting.

Azov’s nationalists announced they were ready to act as intermediaries in resolving the conflict between the RS and the authorities. However, the regiment took the extremists’ side, stating that the police’s actions suggest their own criminal involvement.

The nationalists believe that the Mukachevo battle was provoked by an organized crime group lead by Rada deputies Lanyo and Baloga.

According to Mukachevo mayor Zolton Lendyel, the firefight left 11 victims, six police and five civilians. RS announced two of their militants were killed and four were wounded.

Law enforcement were able to blockade the surviving militants in a nearby village and negotiate, asking them to lay down their arms and promising a fair investigation in Kiev, where they’d be transported. RS replied they would lay down their arms only if asked by Yarosh.

Yarosh, in turn, called RS actions in Mukachevo “necessary self-defense”. He was certain that his fighters acted within the law.

Nationalists have been staging demonstrations in front of Presidential Administration in Kiev and also in cities of Western Ukraine. Demonstrators say the demonstrations will continue indefinitely. They are demanding MVD head Avakov’s dismissal and punishment of the law enforcement members who used weapons against the RS in Mukachevo.

J.Hawk’s Comment: The Right Sector seems to be in a weak position here. It’s basically a criminal organization which happens to also participate in politics (and fighting), whereas the Azov is a paramilitary which happens to engage in criminal activities. For that reason it’s not surprising that some of the more “hardcore” RS members might want to transfer to Azov which is both ideological and legal, which means it can tap into Ukrainian government’s resources. Including weapons and ammunition. Given that Yarosh might lose his hard core supporters in the event of a clash with the government and the rest would be too weak to resist (just how big are his “battalions” anyway? 40 people apiece???), he’ll probably back down eventually, avoiding a conflict he can’t possibly win.

Incidentally, the demoralization of the RS evident in all these stories is similar to what is experienced by the UAF (as shown by the rebellious tank battalion), and the reason is the same in both cases: the effects of the ceasefire which is eating at Ukraine’s military and paramilitary formations’ morale.

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