The Russian Ministry of Justice announced Friday that the government has added five Ukrainian nationalist groups to the list of non-profit organizations whose activities are prohibited in Russia.
The five Ukrainian organizations that are blacklisted in Russia by court order include the Right Sector movement led by Dmytro Yarosh, the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO) party, the radical “Bratstvo” (Brotherhood) organization, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization “Tryzub.” In November, the Russian Supreme Court had declared the Ukrainian nationalist organizations as extremist, RIA Novosti reported.
“The extremist activities of the Ukrainian organizations in question encroach on the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and territorial integrity; entail the violation of human rights and civil liberties; cause damage to individuals as well as to citizens; public order and public security. They propagate violence for political, ethnic and religious motives,” the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement, obtained by Russian news agency Tass.
Last year, Russia launched a criminal investigation against Dmitro Yarosh and Dmitry Korchinsky, leaders of the Right Sector and Bratstvo movements, respectively. Both Yarosh and Korchinsky were accused of starting an armed struggle against Russia, Tass reported.
The conflict between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine took a new twist on Friday after rebels rejected a proposed peace dea,l and said they would continue to fight Kiev's forces in the region. According to NATO, the latest developments indicate that rebels are mounting a major offensive on Ukrainian Army-held positions in Donetsk.
In Berlin, earlier this week, diplomats from Russia and Ukraine agreed on a separation line from where both sides would have to withdraw their heavy weapons. According to the agreement, Ukrainian military forces and pro-Russian rebels are required to retract their heavy arms about 9 miles on either side of the demarcation line. However, no agreement was made on the withdrawal of troops.