Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian activist Yarosh to appeal Moscow arrest order
MOSCOW, March 12 (RAPSI) - The defense team for Dmitry Yarosh, leader of the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian political movement the Right Sector, will appeal an in-absentia arrest order issued against him earlier Wednesday morning by a Moscow court, his attorney Alexander Fomin told RAPSI.
Yarosh, who is considered to be one of the Maidan protest leaders, stands accused of publicly endorsing extremism and terrorism in connection with a public appeal he is suspected of having made to North Caucasus militant commander Doku Umarov. Specifically, Yarosh stands accused of asking for help with carrying out terror attacks on Russian soil.
During a brief hearing held in-absentia in Moscow’s Basmanny District Court, presiding Judge Natalia Dudar ordered his arrest.
In absentia arrests have become a quite popular form of restraint in Russia over the past couple of years. The arrests of defendants in a wide array of high-profile cases, including Hermitage Capital’s William Browder and former general director of Uralkali Vladislav Baumgartner have been ordered in absentia. The list goes on.
When an arrest is ordered in absentia, the order takes effect as soon as the defendant is brought into Russian custody. In absentia arrest orders also allow Russian authorities greater leeway in securing the arrest of a wanted suspect who happens to be abroad while his arrest is sought, through cooperation with international law enforcement authorities and relevant bilateral agreements.
On March 5, Russian investigators placed Yarosh on an international wanted list. The international wanted list notification will obligate any state participating in Interpol joint efforts to detain Yarosh and prepare him for extradition to Russia.
Umarov, the self-proclaimed head of a secessionist group in the North Caucasus, has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in Russia and, most recently having threatened to attack the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Russia has marked the events that have unfolded in Ukraine a coup, and the armed seizure of power. President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference earlier in March that Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia, remains Ukraine’s legitimate president.
Very little is known about the enigmatic Yarosh. He's 42 and he played an active role in the riots that uprooted Ukraine's political leadership structure in recent weeks. Aside from a bout of activism during his college years, however, he has generally made a point to shun publicity.
One thing that is known is that Yarosh recently expressed his presidential ambitions, proclaiming his intent to take part in the Ukrainian elections that have been scheduled for May 25. He talked about the idea that his far-right political movement, the Right Sector, would eventually become a proper political party. Russian officials expressed concern about this. Russian Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Dolgov warned in a Tweet yesterday that "the defacto authorities in Kiev and its western backers need to block the road to power of neo-fascist Yarosh and his supporters."