Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) took in four members of Ukraine’s Right Sector Party for allegedly plotting bomb attacks in Crimea. The FSB said the attacks were planned for April and another was planned to occur during Victory Day celebrations on May 9.
The group denies all charges. The attacks never happened, but Russia claims explosive materials were found in the suspects’ homes.
“Right Sector operates according to the Ukrainian law,” claimed Right Sector Press Secretary Artem Skoropadsky. “Right Sector has never planned, is not planning and never will plan terrorist acts.”
Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in mid-March and Russia has viewed Right Sector as the boogeyman during the Euromaidan protests in Kiev. While Right Sector was a part of the protests that led to the ouster of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych, it appears the group does not have a popular backing with the pro-West in Ukraine, much to Russia’s disappointment. Presidential candidate Dmitry Yarosh barely received 1% of the vote, but Russia TV showed him leading in the polls with over 30% of the vote.
In another incident, pro-Kremlin TV station LifeNews claimed Yarosh’s business card was found at the scene of an ambush. This led to a hilarious Twitter hashtag #YaroshBusinessCard. Before the annexation, the Kremlin told Lenta.Ru to withhold an interview with Yarosh, but the website published it anyway. Editor-in-chief Galina Timenchko left the publication, but employees claimed she was pushed into resignation. A day later, over 39 people resigned in protest of her resignation and censorship.