Ukraine’s voluntary militia called the Azov Battalion holds artillery training in east Ukraine, west of the port city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea, March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Josh Cohen, Reuters: In the battle between Ukraine and Russian separatists, shady private armies take the field

While the ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian government and separatist rebels in the eastern part of the country seems largely to be holding, a recent showdown in Kiev between a Ukrainian oligarch and the government revealed one of the country’s ongoing challenges: private military battalions that do not always operate under the central government’s control.

In March, members of the private army backed by tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky showed up at the headquarters of the state-owned oil company, UkrTransNafta. The standoff occurred after Kiev fired the company’s chief executive officer — an ally of Kolomoisky’s. Kolomoisky said that he was trying to protect the company from an illegal takeover.

WNU Editor: I have another term for these "volunteer" battalions and their oligarch backers .... warlords and mercenaries. To reign these gangs Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko will have his work cut out for him .... and he will create (if not already) many enemies. This is also very dangerous for him personally .... there have been many threats on his life since he assumed the Presidency .... but it is these private armies with their rich backers that probably now concerns him and his security detail the most.

Post a Comment