The Mukachevo Shootout and It's Consequences
A clash between the fascist Right Sector paramilitary group and local mafia over smuggling set off a chain of events that could further destabilize Ukraine. The dangerous impunity that fascist paramilitaries were granted in post-maidan Ukraine has once again provoked separatist tendencies but this time in the west of Ukraine both in the fascist stronghold of Lviv and the transcarpathian region home to a Hungarian and Rusyn minority and apparently ruled by organized crime like much of Ukraine. However in the short term the fascist right sector uprising has been quickly put down and Dmitry Yarosh their leader has been forced to make a humiliating surrender to Poroshenko. Thus for the second time this year Poroshenko has put down a fascist coup attempt and has emerged stronger then ever. Of course this has only been an individual power struggle although right sector may be temporarily humbled Fascist ideology has become so mainstream in Ukraine so central to justifying the current war that it's influence will only grow as Ukraine slowly disintegrates. Ukraine has become a poster child for the empire of chaos and may be destined to be deliberately balkanized in the future like Yugoslavia, Sudan, Iraq, or the DRCongo. The recent crisis revealed that the Novorossians, and those regions like Khakov or Mauripol that are only kept from joining them by a terror campaign of torture and murder are not the only ones unhappy with the new Ukraine. Transcarpathia and even fascist stronghold Lvov are starting to consider breaking away as well although for now such developments are unlikely. Still with Ukraine's economy collapsing and it's disastrous war on Novorossia likely to last for years there is no telling what the future might hold.
It all began with a shoot-out on July 11 in Mukachevo in the Transcarpathian region of western Ukraine. The town has no industry it's only sources of income are remittances sent back from locals working abroad in Europe or Russia, tourism and the smuggling business. Transcarpathia borders Hungary and Slovakia. The populace is largely unsympathetic to to the Fascist form of Ukrainian nationalism now holding sway in Kiev because it has a diverse ethnic mix including Hungarians and Rusyns. Instead it is organized crime which is the main power and even in Ukraine the most corrupt nation on the planet, Transcarpathia stands out for it's over the top corruption. Even the local right sector are really just a cover for local organized crime. In Transcarpathia right sector serves gangster oligarch Viktor Balogo who has the entire local governemnt on his payroll. The clash erupted when his right sector goons confronted his former patron and Deputy Parliament member Mikhail Lano. Right sector shot one of his guards in the face then threw some smoke grenades and disapeared in the confusion. Next they ran into two police cars and they opened fire with rocket propelled grenade launchers and Machine guns destroying both vehicles. Next they took an 11 year old boy hostage while they made their escape into the nearby forest. Total casualties from the incident were 3 people dead and 11 injured. Unfortunately for right sector who are generally allowed to get away with anything they want, not even Kiev could turn a blind eye to their turning western Ukraine into a war zone. Poroshenko and his fascist interior minister Akavov decided to come down hard on them declaring an anti-terror operation sending in armored vehicles and Ukrainian Spetsnaz special forces to crack down on them.
Right Sector responded by demanding the government back off or they would stage a coup. They set up checkpoints around a number of cities in western Ukraine which is how the founding of Novorossia began. Of course Yarosh seemingly threatens to stage a coup every month but this time he badly miscalculated. Poroshenko was not amused and merely sent even more armored vehicles and spetsnaz to secure the towns and the fascist uprising was soon completely on the defensive.Right Sector are cowering in the forests around Mukachevo surrounded by APC's helicopters and special forces. Yarosh who only hours before had called for the disbanding of the Supreme Rada and the resignation of president Poroshenko was quickly forced to change his tune. Instead he now begged that the right sector members involved be granted allowed amnesty and join the Ukraine armed forces where he promised they would redeem themselves by dying on the battlefield. The future of Right Sector now lays in Poroshenko's hands which actually means no doubt the decision is in the hands of his american advisers. Will they finally disband this embarrassing group or are they still too useful for putting pressure on the Poroshenko regime. Right Sector is after all a CIA project formed by joining 5 separate fascist organizations together. One of these organizations UNA-UPSD were basically CIA mercenaries in it's dirty war on Russia in Chechnya, among other places. Thus it will be interesting to see Poroshenko is forced to allow an independent right sector despite the danger they might one day pose to him or whether they will finally be fully integrated into the Ukrainian army and police instead. After all the CIA has long favored the use of paramilitary forces as death squads since they allow their client regimes plausible deniability for their crimes. From Vietnam, to El Salvador, to Colombia, and Iraq they have again and again used the same tactic of allowing death squads to go on a rampage while denying that the host government or the CIA were involved. (See My April 2015 "The Phoenix Program" )Thus I wouldn't be surprised if Right Sector are allowed to survive. For now however they are on the defensive and we can only hope that the government takes a hard line and decides to teach them a lesson. It is certainly a joy to see the Ukrainian army forced to battle the fascists instead of terrorizing the people of Novorossia. The whole situation is a win win scenario for Novorossia and has exposed right sector yet again as not merely murderous fascists but corrupt criminals.
Meanwhile the whole incident has given encouragement to Transcarpathia to dream of following the Novorossian example and to break away from Ukraine. Of course Kiev was already aware of these dangers which is why they encouraged the growth of fascist groups like right sector and the Carpathian Sich in the area to intimidate the locals. All the same the locals are not happy about the new Fascist kiev regime since many of them aren't even Ukrainian. They themselves could become future targets of serious repression on Ethnic grounds. The recent crisis motivated some to demand autonomy from Ukraine. Back in the 90's the region had voted for a special autonomous status by a majority of 70% but their vote was ignored by Kiev. Last year as Ukraine began mobilizing troops the Rusyn minority forcibly resisted and with their hands full in Novorossia Kiev decided to quietly give up conscripting them. Instead they sent a Busload of Right Sector thugs to exact revenge but the locals apparently managed to beat them in a street fight forcing them to flee. When right sector attempted to seize towns by setting up check points they went on a drunken rampage terrorizing the locals and threatening revenge. Thus many locals have sent a petition demanding greater autonomy. Apparently for whatever their many faults the Minsk agreements do have the advantage of giving other regions the same idea.
Not only is Transcarpathia demanding autonomy so apparently are some in Lvov the center of fascist influence in Ukraine. This has exposed a strange and embarrassing paradox about "Ukrainian" Fascism. Many of the hard core believers don't consider themselves Ukrainian at all who they regard as a bunch of dumb slavs. Instead they see themselves as Galicians and not only would some like to break off from Ukraine they also dream of tearing a big chunk of Galicia out of NATO member Poland. Ironically Poland is one of the leaders of the Rusophobic faction of NATO along with the Baltic countries like Estonia (another hotbed of Fascism.) Actually in a now mostly forgotten episode during the Maidan Coup when it looked like Yanukovych might not fall the Ukrainian fascists were the ones threatening to secede in Galicia. Just imagine things might have been very different imagine if Yanukovych had not fallen the US might be the ones funding a breakaway Galicia and instead of ignoring the plight of the people of Novorossia the media would be screaming about the suffering of the people of the people of Galicia (while ignoring their nazi sympathies). A fun exercise in what might have been. Perhaps if the Kiev Junta falls the US may one day back a breakaway Galicia. It could also use the issue of Galician nationalism to launch some sort of false flag attack on Poland as an excuse to bring NATO into the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile on the information war front Russia doubtless hopes to create tensions between Ukraine and Poland. So far those these tensions have mainly involved battles between polish nationalist soccer hooligans and fascist Ukrainian soccer hooligans. Apparently not everyone in Poland has forgotten the massacres of Poles by the Fascist Stephan Bandera's OUN-B death squads. Yet the Polish government continues to be one of Fascist Ukraine's biggest supporters and has even sent large numbers of Polish mercenaries to wage war on Novorossia. Hopefully the people of Poland will demand an end to this folly before they themselves become the victims.
In the meantime because Right Sector was busy with it's crisis in Mukachevo it was unable to carry out it's threats to stop supporters of Galicia independence from marching through the streets of Lviv. However for now an independent Galicia is merely a remote future possibility although it would have the virtue of ridding Ukraine of a large number of it's craziest citizens. However with Poroshenko more firmly in control then ever after inflicting a humiliating defeat on Right sector such a possibility is more unlikely then ever for the moment. Kiev is doubtless firmly on guard against any such possibilities both in Transcarpathia or Galicia. Rather their significance is that they show cracks are beginning to form in Ukraine and that Ironically the stress of waging war to reconquer Novorossia could one day cause the whole country to break apart. Their is no telling what sinister plans the US really has for the future of Ukraine and I could easily see them deciding to destroy Ukraine if they no longer think they can control it. They may even want to break it up Yugoslavia style so that it can never again serve as a bridge between Russia and Europe. Only one thing is certain Ukraine is well on it's way to becoming a failed state.
On the issue of right sector definitely check out the book "Neonazis & Euromaidan" by Stanislaw Byshok and Alexey Kochetkov which I discussed in my November 2014 article "recommended reading"
An Account of the shootout at Mukachevo and the corruption in Transcarpathia
Slavyangrad translated Col Cassad on the capitulation of Yarosh
A letter from a Rusyn about tension in Transcarpathia
Transcarpathian activists call for autonomy