The anti-Russian mobilization in Ukraine has developed a new and dangerous dynamic, with right-wing volunteer militia leader Dmytro Korchynsky enjoying much popularity among the country’s citizens.
"I want to lead a crusade against Russia. Our goal is not only the expulsion of the occupiers, but also vengeance. Moscow must burn," Korchynsky said.
Korchynsky, a former leader of an ultra-nationalist party and a devout Orthodox Christian, wants to create a Christian "Taliban movement," Reuters reported. He called his battalion "Holy Mary."
Most members of the current 40 volunteer militias are former Maidan activists who were involved in the overthrow of the Yanukovych government. They pose a serious threat to the Ukrainian government and are responsible for mass violence in the country.
Serhiy Melnychuk, who founded the notorious Aidar Battalion and is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, said he had recruited people between the ages of 18-62 from all social groups: from "homeless to retirees." Earlier, Amnesty International accused the battalion of "war crimes".
Members of the Tornado militia group founded by Andriy Filonenko were accused of rape, murder and human trafficking. According to reports of Ukrainian officials, there are videos in which Tornado members force two prisoners to rape a third inmate.
The extremist militias are demanding the dismissal of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the imposition of martial law. They criticize Poroshenko’s policy, partly because he had ratified the law promoting the decentralization of the country. The militias fear the secession of the eastern regions and seek to preserve the "unity" of Ukraine by any means necessary, the newspaper wrote.