MOSCOW, May 30 (RAPSI) – The Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested four members of the Right Sector ultra-nationalist group who were plotting attacks in Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol, the FSB external relations center said on Friday.
“The FSB Investigative Department is probing into a case against O.G. Sentsov, S. G. Afanasyev, A.V. Chirniy and A.A. Kolchenko, members of a terrorist group, who prepared several attacks in Crimea,” the service said in a statement. “Homemade explosive devices were to go off in the early hours of May 9, 2014, at the Eternal Flame Memorial and the Lenin Monument in Simferopol. The group also plotted arson attacks on the offices of Crimea’s Russian Community and the United Russia Party in Simferopol on April 14 and 18.”
The authorities searched the suspects’ homes and seized explosives, guns, ammunition, canisters with incendiary mixture, construction helmets (similar to the ones used during the Maidan protests), respirator masks, gas masks, paint spray, and nationalist symbols.
The suspects have confessed that the Right Sector was involved in prior Crimea attacks aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation and pressuring the Russian Federation’s authorities to relinquish their claim on the Crimean republic, FSB said. Earlier, Russian investigators initiated a terrorism case against Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh.
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 is accused of asking for help with carrying out terror attacks in Russia.
On March 5, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered Yarosh's arrest in absentia. Yarosh was placed on the international wanted list.
The parliament of Crimea, which recently voted for its independence from Ukraine and its reunification with Russia, has banned the nationalist party Svoboda (Liberty) as well as Right Sector.