Activists and supporters of far-right Ukrainian party Right Sector held a rally on Independence Square in Kyiv on July 21 after holding a party congress.
Several thousand protesters gathered to support the party’s decision to start collecting signatures for a referendum calling for for the resignation of President Petro Poroshenko and his government.
Dmytro Yarosh, a lawmaker who leads the group’s political party, voiced frustration with the current government for keeping officials in government who served in the previous administration of disgraced ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.
A paramilitary unit of Right Sector, whose members are also fighting in eastern Ukraine against Russian-separatist forces, clashed with local police and the private security detail of lawmaker in Mukacheve, Zakarpattya Oblast, on July 11 that left two people dead and a dozen wounded. The shootout, according to Ukraine’s State Security Service, involved control over smuggling channels in the westernmost Ukrainian region, which borders four European Union countries.
After the bloody clash, Yarosh asked that the Right Sector members involved in the shootout receive immunity in exchange for the paramilitary unit becoming formally subordinate to the nation’s military structure.
He was elected to parliament last October in a single-mandate district in his native Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.