Dmytro Yarosh in Uzhhorod, 19 September 2014
|People's Deputy of Ukraine|
27 November 2014
|People's Deputy of Ukraine|
November 27, 2014
|Constituency||Right Sector, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast,
September 30, 1971 |
Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Right Sector (2013–2015)|
People's Movement of Ukraine (1989-94)
|Alma mater||Drohobych State University of Education|
|Allegiance|| Soviet Union (historical)
|Years of service||1989–1991
Dmytro Yarosh (Ukrainian: Дмитро Ярош; born 30 September 1971) is a Ukrainian activist and politician. He is the former leader of the far-right Right Sector organization. Late 2015 he withdrew from Right Sector. In February 2016 he started a new organisation called Governmental Initiative of Yarosh (DIYA).
In the May 25, 2014 presidential election he received 127,772 votes (0.7% of the total). He was elected to the Ukrainian parliament during the October 26, 2014 election from a single-seat constituency in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast by winning 29.76% of the votes.
On 25 July 2015 Yarosh was placed by Interpol on its international wanted list at the request of Russian authorities. Since 2 January 2016 this request is not listed anymore on Interpol's website.
Yarosh was born on 30 September 1971 in Dniprodzerzhynsk, a town in predominantly Russian-speaking Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in central-eastern Ukraine. In 1988 Yarosh graduated from High School #24 of Dniprodzerzhynsk. As almost all pre-teens and young teenagers in the Soviet Union, he was a member of Young Pioneers and later the Countrywide Leninist Communist Youth League organizations, youth-based sub-organizations of the Communist Party of the USSR.
In 1989 Yarosh was, allegedly, the first person who first raised the yellow-blue flag of Ukraine in East Ukraine, more precisely in Dnipropetrovsk. Starting in February 1989, Yarosh was a member of People's Movement of Ukraine organization. From October 1989 to November 1991 he was drafted and served two years in the Soviet army as a private.
During the Euromaidan protests in early 2014, Tryzub became the core of the newly founded Right Sector, a coalition of right-wing nationalists. During these protests Yarosh advocated for a "national revolution" and dismissed the Viktor Yanukovych administration as an "internal occupational regime". In early February, weeks before the ousting of President Yanukovych, Yarosh stated in an interview that there would be no civil war in Ukraine because 80% of the population did not support Yanukovych.
Right before the 21 February ouster of Yanukovych, in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Yarosh claims he and the Right Sector leadership was consulted by Yanukovych on the deal Yanukovych had signed with the opposition to end Euromaidan. Yarosh refused to endorse this agreement and refused to disarm Right Sector.
On 20 April 2014, Dmytro Yarosh claims he was ordered by acting President Oleksandr Turchinov to lead 20 Right Sector members to sabotage an insurgent-controlled television tower in Sloviansk, leading to the first combat fatalities in the Siege of Sloviansk. Yarosh denied his role in these events until two years later.
Yarosh was a candidate in the 25 May 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. A poll conducted by the "Socis" research center (from February 25 to March 4, 2014) predicted that Yarosh's candidacy received the support of 1.6% of the people who were surveyed. On election day he actually received 0.7% of the votes.
Yarosh took part in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election as a Right Sector candidate in single-member district number 39 (first-past-the-post wins a parliament seat) located in Vasylkivka Raion. He won a parliamentary seat by winning this constituency with 29.76% of the votes. Yarosh did not join a faction in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament). He did join the inter-factional group Ukrop.
Military and withdrawal from Right Sector
In early April 2015, Ukraine's defence ministry announced that MP Dmytro Yarosh was to become an aide to military chief Viktor Muzhenko and that his Right Sector fighting group would be integrated into the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Yarosh resigned as Right Sector leader on 11 November 2015. After he was wounded on 21 January 2015 he had delegated tasks to others in the organisation and he stated on 11 November 2015 he "did not want to be a wedding general". Especially since he claimed “my positions were not always the same as the aspirations of some of the leadership”. Late December 2015 Yarosh announced he was forming a new political party that would have its founding congress in February 2016.
Governmental Initiative of Yarosh
In February 2016 Yarosh started a new organisation called Governmental Initiative of Yarosh (DIYA). The departure of Yarosh resulted in at least 20% of Right Sector members leaving with him. According to Yarosh DIYA will be a public movement like People's Movement of Ukraine was in its early days.
Political positions and views
- Yarosh calls himself a follower of Stepan Bandera but does not support neo nazism.
- Yarosh proposed to ban the Party of Regions of Ukraine, as well as the Communist Party of Ukraine.
- He considers Russia as a main adversary of Ukraine, although he also has little patience for Western influence on Ukraine either.
- The Spiegel Online reported: "For years, Yarosh has been fighting for the "de-Russification" of Ukraine ... He believes that "anti-Christian" powers are afoot in the European Union and that Brussels forces people into lifestyles such as gay marriage. ... He doesn't see Europe or NATO as a potential partner and has stated that the US is also part of an "anti-Ukrainian front"."
- Yarosh has denied allegations of anti-Semitism, but in a book he wrote "I wonder how it came to pass that most of the billionaires in Ukraine are Jews?"
- "For all the years of Ukraine's independence, Russia has pursued a systematic, targeted policy of subjugation toward Ukraine ... So of course we will prepare for a conflict with them, ...If they stick their faces here like they did in Georgia in 2008, they'll get it in the teeth."
- "Sooner or later, we are doomed to fight a war with [the] Moscow empire."
- "We're not using oligarchs' money in politics, but when a war is on, we do not object to their funding the army."
Yarosh is a controversial figure. In Russia's state-run media he has been described as a "radical nationalist", a "fascist". Mainstream Western media has generally called him a radical or extreme nationalist. Some mainstream and left-wing sources have denounced him as a "fascist".
Yarosh is married to Olha and has three children: Anastasia, Iryna, and Dmytro.
Reactions in Russia
On March 12, an editor of privately owned Lenta.ru website, Galina Timchenko, was fired by the company's owner Alexander Mamut for publishing a link to an interview with Yarosh he gave two days earlier, after Russian media regulatory agency Roskomnadzor formally warned the Lenta.ru website for publishing this link. In this interview Yarosh said: "Sooner or later, we are doomed to fight a war with [the] Moscow empire".
On March 1, 2014 Right Sector's page on Russian online social networking service VKontakte showed an entry with Dmytro Yarosh's alleged appeal to Dokka Umarov, a Chechen militant guerrilla leader associated with Al-Qaeda, for support of Ukraine.
On March 2, 2014, Right Sector's spokesman Art Skoropadskyi denied the message was posted and approved by Yarosh. According to the spokesman, this alleged appeal to Umarov appeared on Right Sector's VKontakte webpage after one of its administrator's accounts was hacked. VKontakte blocks the page at a request of an Attorney General of Russia. On March 11, 2014 Russian State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin urged Russian special services to "follow Mossad examples" and assassinate leaders of Right sector Dmytro Yarosh and Oleksandr Muzychko.
In March 2014 Russia launched a criminal case against Yarosh, and some members (including party leader Oleh Tyahnybok) of Svoboda and UNA-UNSO, for "organizing an armed gang" that had allegedly fought against Russian 76th Guards Air Assault Division in a First Chechen War and for "public calls for extremism and public calls for terrorism". Yarosh has been placed on an international wanted list by Interpol at the request of the Russian Federation on 25 July 2015. The charge last alleges he "incriminated [himself by making] public appeals to terrorism and extremism." These two actions are a crime according to Russian criminal code (205th and 280th articles, respectively). Yarosh has been placed on an international wanted list by the Russian Federation. This made him the only person wanted internationally after the beginning of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in 2014. Since 2 Januari 2016 Yarosh name can not be found on the international wanted list that is visible on Interpol's website.
According to an article on Russian-government funded news site RT, on March 16, Yarosh threatened to demolish the entire Russian gas pipeline to Europe if a diplomatic solution was not found for the Ukraine/Russia standoff. According to the RT article, Yarosh warned "Crimea was too small to satisfy the appetite of the 'Russian Empire...'"
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