Ukraine Raising Volunteer Force to Attack Eastern Protesters

Conflicting Details on Plan, Which Seeks Right Sector Fighters

Ukraine’s government has announced the creation of a “volunteer” paramilitary force charged with “quickly restoring law and order” in the protester-held eastern cities around Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

Details of how this volunteer force will work are scant, but what we do know is ominous, with officials openly talking about recruiting the fighters from the Maidan protest that ousted the Yanukovych government, meaning the neo-Nazi Right Sector.

The faction’s legal structure is totally unclear, with some nominal control being given to the Defense Ministry, but the group being funded entirely by a “local charity foundation called Patriot.”

The fights for the new group are going to be paid handsomely too, with the reports suggesting they will receive Hr 15,000 (about $1,300) per month, far more than the roughly $200 per month Ukrainian soldiers are paid.

The move suggests a growing desperation in the interim government, as many Ukrainian soldiers are flat out refusing attacks on civilian protesters, while the Right Sector seems to be the only ones really spoiling for a fight against the ethnic Russian protesters.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.