The Ukrainian extremists are messed up. A few days ago, the leader of the Right Sector Dmytro Yarosh resigned. One of his motives was the need to undergo a long-term treatment. But there was one more motive – disaccord with his comrades. The friends of Yarosh say that he has fallen victim to intrigues. But judging from what the sides have said, it was an ordinary overturn. Yarosh had long ceased to control his party. He was the leader but not officially. The last conference of the Right Sector elected one. And it was not Yarosh. Instead, he was given the role of a guider. But he said he didn’t want to be a celebrity for hire.
For many experts the overturn in the Right Sector means that the war in Donbass is coming to an end and the extremists are simply not sure what they will do next. They don’t want to be what they in Kiev want them to be: a part of the National Security Council or the army or just a political party. What they want is to overthrow Poroshenko as to them he is not much different from Yanukovych. This is what they said in their response to Yarosh: “We do not recognize Poroshenko’s band and see no alternative to revolution. We must strengthen our movement so as to be able to resist our opponents. For this purpose, we must get rid of spies and anti-nationalists.”
Yarosh has turned out to be an odd man out. His wish to keep his foot in two camps – to lead extremists and to enjoy the president-controlled parliament – has proved to be unrealistic.
This situation is very much like the one we witnessed some six months ago, when few weeks before the war, the most radical Right Sector fighters began blaming their leaders for indecision and urged them to “liberate” Donbass. The latter did nothing and the fighters broke away to later form an Azov Nazi regiment.
Today, the Right Sector remains an uncontrolled group of several thousands of armed fighters. The West has instructed Poroshenko to tame it. He attempted to do it in Mukachevo but the local fighters resisted and fled into woods. In Donbass, Poroshenko was forced to bear with extremists while the war was in progress but now that the war may end, they are not longer necessary and are even dangerous.
The “European choice” has ruined Ukraine’s economy. In such a situation, armed radical forces are dangerous for the ruling regime. So, sooner or later they in Kiev will have to subdue those forces. They first merged the Aydar battalion with their army. Later they arrested the most radical activists of Svoboda Party. Now it is the turn of Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party. Ihor Mosiychuk has been charged with corruption and detained.
The Right Sector proved to be tougher. Until recently it was an independent force. It was regarded as the driver of the Maidan and enjoyed absolute immunity.
So, the only way for the ruling regime to cope with it was to split it. Now that Yarosh has gone, the Right Sector will become even more radical. On the other hand, it will lose part of its image and financing and will become vulnerable.
It is not a secret that the Right Sector is a PR-based party. During the Maidan, it lost very few men. It provoked clashes but did not take part in them. Instead, it engaged in self-advertising. The same is for the war in Donbass. Yarosh was the driver of the extremists’ PR-machine but his party was the last to get involved in the battles.
So, now that he has gone, the extremists will lose both PR and financing and will have to choose wither to join the army or to plot a new revolution. If they chose the revolution, they in Kiev will call them criminals. This will be good for Poroshenko, and his pro-western totalitarian regime.