The Right Sector claimed that if a new revolution started, the President Petro Poroshenko would not manage to escape from the country, “an execution in a dark vault would await him”. The Right Sector spokesman Artyom Skoropadsky said that the execution “would be carried out by a group of young Ukrainian military men or members of the National Guard”.
Of all the former Soviet states, Ukraine will likely see the greatest fallout from the Panama Papers, which allege that President Petro Poroshenko holds accounts offshore. In response to the revelations, Ukrainian politicians are already calling for an investigation into Poroshenko’s hidden funds. The head of the Radical Party has even pushed for the president’s impeachment. But Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General said the papers contain no evidence that Poroshenko committed any crimes. For his part, Poroshenko has gone on the defensive. In a string of tweets, the president called himself the first of Ukraine’s leaders to take corruption seriously. At the same time, he has skirted the issue of his culpability, claiming that he handed management of his assets over to a consulting firm upon taking office.
Strange it may seem, but Ukraine’s far right and Russia’s propaganda machine share a common fantasy: a radical right-wing coup in Kyiv. Just as the Ukrainian right has been making moves in domestic politics over the past year, a coup scenario in the country’s capital would be precisely the escalation Russia needs to win the war in the east.
If we do see regime change in Ukraine, then the Azov volunteer battalion is a likely candidate to take charge of this new “junta”. Formed from far-right groups as separatist conflict broke out in 2014, Azov was initially created as a special police battalion, and quickly won a reputation for defending the city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine. It is now a regiment within Ukraine’s National Guard.