KIEV, February 27 – RIA Novosti. The rally of supporters of the ex-head of the Odessa cell “Right Sector” * Serhiy Sternenko, sentenced to seven years for robbery, ended near the office of the President of Ukraine in Kiev, RIA Novosti reports.
The Primorsky District Court of Odessa on Tuesday found Sternenko guilty of kidnapping and robbery and sentenced him to seven years in prison with confiscation of half of his property. On the same day, a rally in support of the convict was held near the office of the President of Ukraine, during which clashes with the police took place. About 2 thousand people took part in the action, more than 20 protesters were detained. Earlier on Saturday in Kiev, Sternenko's supporters also held rallies outside the office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The participants in the meeting announced their requirements for the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. In particular, they demand the release of Sternenko and the reform of the judicial system. The protesters said there was “the last peaceful rally” on Saturday and said they were giving Zelenskiy a week to fulfill the voiced demands. However, they did not explain what they intend to do in a week, nor did they name the date of the next rally.
At the moment, both protesters and law enforcement officers have left the venue. The situation in the center of Kiev, including near the office of the President, the Prosecutor General and the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is calm.
In 2015, in the Odessa region, a deputy of the Kominternovsky district council, Sergei Shcherbich, was kidnapped, he was beaten, demanding to give up his deputy mandate. Shcherbich turned to law enforcement officers and said that he was abducted by Sternenko and his associate Ruslan Demchuk. Law enforcers detained and arrested them, but later released from custody.
“Right Sector” * is a Ukrainian association of radical nationalist organizations. In January and February 2014, the movement's militants participated in clashes with law enforcement officers and the seizure of administrative buildings, and since April – in the suppression of protests in eastern Ukraine. In November 2014, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized the right-wing radical association as an extremist organization and banned its activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. In January 2015, “Right Sector” * was included in the register of organizations banned in the Russian Federation.
* In January 2015, Right Sector was included in the register of organizations banned in Russia.