Right Sector Militants Working with Ukrainian Intelligence
By Jake Morphonios
March 7th, 2022
On March 6th, the counterterrorism unit of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) Ministry of State Security stopped and detained two Ukrainian intelligence operatives from the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR MOU). 
The Ukrainian operatives were transporting weapons which were to be used in attacks in the territory of the LPR and inside Russia in the Rostov region. During interrogations, the two agents confessed and provided details of the planned operations.
In November 2013, several radical, ultranationalist groups formed a paramilitary confederation named Right Sector (Пра́вий се́ктор) at the Euromaidan uprising (January-February 2014) in Kyiv. According to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, the group waved neo-Nazi flags during the protests and distributed antisemitic literature to other protesters, including Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Led by neo-Nazi extremists Dmytro Yarosh and Andriy Tarasenko, Right Sector’s militants carried out the fire-ladened Hrushevskoho Street Riots and engaged in bloody clashes with Ukrainian riot police in Maidan Square. Right Sector also employed guns and other military weaponry during the riots which had been stolen from an Interior Ministry arsenal stored in police stations in western Ukraine. By the time they succeeded in overthrowing the government, the street violence had left 13 police and 108 protesters dead.
In February 2014, Yarosh began coordinating Right Sector activities with Israel by establishing a hotline with the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine. The following month, Yarosh and Tarasenko formed a political party, also named Right Sector, with an initial membership of approximately 10,000 fascists. The party espoused an anti-Russian, neo-Nazi ideology. Yarosh served as the first chairman of Right Sector and was elected to the Ukrainian parliament in 2014.
Following the coup, approximately 5,000 Right Sector militants formed volunteer battalions (DUK) to fight against separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Prior to his departure from Right Sector in late 2015 to form a new organization, Yarosh announced that the 5th and 8th DUK battalions and the Right Sector medical battalion would be absorbed into the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Andriy Tarasenko has been the chairman of Right Sector since March 2016. 
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) described Right Sector as one of Ukraine's "violent militias that acted seemingly on their own authority, thanks to a high level of official toleration, and with almost complete impunity, both in the Donbass region and in wider Ukraine".
Further, the UNHRC stated that Right Sector members "use violence or threats of violence to exert pressure on persons holding dissenting views, the judicial system and other mechanisms of accountability".
According to the confessions of the two Ukrainian intelligence operatives, militants in the Right Sector DUK formed a sleeper cell in the village of Stanytsia Luhansk. In late February 2022, the cell planned to place explosives at an oil depot in the town of Rovenki with the intent to blow the depot and accuse Russian forces of having carried out the act. However, as hostilities intensified in the Stanytsia, the operation was called off.
Rather than blow the oil depot with explosive charges, the Ukrainian military attacked the facility with missiles. The initial strike on February 26th using a 9K79-1 Tochka-U tactical missile did not result in significant damage. A second missile strike by the military was carried out the following day, igniting 200 tons of diesel fuel. Citizens in the nearby residential district were evacuated by the local government.
The Right Sector militants also told Luhansk interrogators that after their initial operation was cancelled, they were ordered to travel to the Russian town of Novoshakhtinsk to meet with agents from Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate and receive further instructions. The planning meetings were to take place between March 7th-9th. The detainees told Luhansk interrogators that they understood that new critical infrastructure targets were to be discussed.
However, the Right Sector sleeper cell militants were apprehended by the Luhansk counterterrorism unit before they could travel to the meeting with Ukrainian intelligence.
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