Ukrainian president calls defence meeting after far-Right shootout

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called a meeting of the country's defence cabinet to discuss a deadly shootout involving a Ukrainian far-Right group in Mukacheve a town located 40km from Ukraine's border with the EU.

According to several anonymous law enforcement officials, the initial incident consisted of a gunfight between the Ukrainian volunteer battalion 'Right Sector' and personal guards hired by MP Mikhail Lanyo. Both Lanyo and Right Sector members say they had agreed to meet one another prior to the fighting breaking out, but blame each other for the conflict that ensued.

According to the Interior Ministry the gunfight resulted in the death of one civilian, while one of Lanyo's guards is also rumoured to have been killed, although this has not been confirmed. The Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper cites law enforcement authorities in claiming that the Right Sector members detonated a stun grenade before fleeing town.

As the Right Sector members made their way out of the town following the first gunfight, police attempted to stop them and another fight ensued in which the group used machine gun fire and grenade launchers. Three police vehicles were reported destroyed according to Ukrainskaya Pravda.

The group have since recorded a video to tell their own version of events and posted it online. In it, they call for Lanyo's arrest and nationwide protests to call for the resignation of Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov's resignation.

Ukrainskaya Pravda reports that the presumed cause of the dispute was a disagreement between Lanyo and another MP Viktor Baloga, whom the Ukrainian press has previously linked to the Right Sector. Baloga's connection to the group is not clear, however Lanyo has accused him of financing the battalion. The two politicians are involved in an ongoing spat, dating back to their respective election campaigns in the 2012 parliamentary elections. According to Avakov's Twitter account, Lanyo and Baloga will be both be questioned.

The Right Sector have been patrolling Ukraine's border with EU in the Zakarpattia region where Mukacheve is situated. Zakarpattia links Ukraine with three different EU states, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, and also borders Poland although there are no direct road links connecting the countries.

Ukraine have a regular border police, but the government has allowed the Right Sector to patrol the area during while the war in the east has been going on, although their status is ambiguous.

The paramilitary group says that Lanyo's guards attacked them because their border policing efforts have been foiling his alleged illicit trade with EU countries, while the Interior Ministry say that Right Sector were the ones who violated the law.

The Interior Ministry has since asked for the Right Sector to disarm, which they have refused to do unless asked by the group's political leader figure Dmitry Yarosh. Yarosh, meanwhile, posted on his Facebook page today that he was cooperating with the Ukrainian security services (SBU) to deescalate the situation.

Meanwhile Lanyo has claimed that he is merely the victim in the conflict and placed the blame firmly on his rival.

"There is no doubt at all that Baloga finances the Right Sector, he has told me this himself many times," Lanyo told Ukrainskaya Pravda.

"Baloha is a sick man, he is a tumour on the Transcarpathian region, which ought be treated, because all the problems stem from him," Lanyo added.

According to Mustafa Nayyem, an MP from Poroshenko's party, all sides in the conflict were involved in the trade of contraband cigarettes with the EU, notably with Germany and Italy. The dispute, according to him, stemmed from a business deal.