Russia Says Senior Nationalist Commander Killed in Ukraine

Russian commandos have killed a prominent member of Ukraine’s nationalist Right Sector group, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday. Taras Bobanich was accused by Moscow of causing hundreds of civilian deaths in eastern Ukraine during hostilities in 2014.

A Russian recon team killed Bobanich while on patrol about 5km south from the city of Izium in Ukraine’s Kharkov region, the ministry statement said. It said he was a deputy commander of the Right Sector responsible for reserve operations.

The ministry didn’t disclose the circumstances of Bobanich’s death. The Right Sector’s social media reported that he was killed on Friday near Izium, calling him a “legendary nationalist”.

The 33-year-old, whose nickname was “Hummer”, came originally from western Ukraine. He rose to national prominence during the mass protests and armed coup of 2013-2014, during which Ukrainian nationalists served as the street fighting force against Ukrainian law enforcement.

The coup ended with the toppling of Ukraine’s democratically elected president and a rebellion in the east of the country, which the new authorities in Kiev tried to quash with military force. The nationalists formed so-called “volunteer battalions” to participate in the fighting.

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