Ukrainian security forces detain four in Mukachevo shooting subject logo: DONBASWAR
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By Chris Covert

A total of four unidentified men were detained in the last 48 hours by elements of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), according to Russian language news accounts.

According to data supplied by Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Gritsak, SBU units since last Saturday have conducted 40 raids, seizing a number of weapons and other material for investigative purposes.

The arrests come from the July 11th shootout in Mukachevo in western Ukraine, when four unidentified individuals were shot to death and another 11 were wounded in a confrontation among local gangs, police and a group of Right Sector, the political group formed in the wake of the Maidan coup in 2013. Right Sector members form the core of several volunteer military units currently fighting against Russian supplied separatists in southeastern Ukraine. Right Sector members have a reputation among ethnic Russians in the region as a hostile and violent force that drives the civil war in Ukraine.

Two of the detainees surrendered voluntarily, according to a statement released by Right Sector, in order to provide police with information on the shootout. Two others were detained after they sought medical attention for wounds they likely sustained in the shootout.

At the moment Ukrainian national security forces and units of the Ukrainian national guard have surrounded at least 12 of the remnants of the group said to have been involved in the shootout. They are in Bobovische, a tiny village about 10 kilometers west of Mukachevo. An SBU spokeswoman identified as Elena Gitlyanskaya, said that the "partizans", her words, holed up near Mukachevo are all local to the region around Mukachevo.

The causes of the shootout vary, depending on who you ask. Right Sector members said that the sports bar was being used as a recruitment center for rebels Right Sector members are fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, while police say the shootout was a local beef over smuggling routes used by Right Sector groups and local organized crime group for products such as untaxed liquor and tobacco. Those products are smuggled into Donetsk through Volkhonavka for local organized crime groups operating inside Donetsk.

Rebel officials have routinely refused to acknowledge Donetsk has an organized crime problem, yet several Ukrainian reports have emerged since last spring of shootouts there between rebel security forces and criminal groups.

Right Sector claims to have about 18 reserve battalions throughout Ukraine, and two in active combat in Donetsk and Lugansk. An undisclosed number of other battalions manned by Right Sector members have been folded into the Ukrainian military. Most of the reserve battalions are at considerably less than full strength.

Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for He can be reached at and on Twitter. You can read past articles about the 2014 war in southeastern Ukraina by clicking here.

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