Police kill far-right leader in western Ukraine

KIEV (AFP) - Ukrainian police shot dead a far-right nationalist leader in the western city of Rivne in a shootout that erupted when they tried to arrest him, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

Oleksandr Muzytshko, head of the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) in the west of the crisis-hit country, opened fire on the police who shot back, deputy interior minister Volodymyr Evdokimov said, cited by Interfax news agency.

After the gunfight, which occurred at a cafe on Monday night, "he was still alive... but when an emergency services doctor arrived he was pronounced dead," Evdokimov said.

Muzytshko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, had been wanted for organised crime, he added.

Three of his accomplices, who had been armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a Makarov pistol, were arrested in the same operation and taken to Kiev pending an investigation.

Russia had issued an arrest warrant for Muzytshko on suspicion that he fought alongside Islamists in the war in Chechnya where he was responsible for the deaths of 20 Russian soldiers, according to Russian news agencies.

The heavily-built Muzytshko was notorious for YouTube videos in which he was seen brandishing a Kalashnikov in Rivne's City Council, and roughing up the city's prosecutor.

Pravy Sektor, which played a key role in protests that ousted pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month, said Saturday it had formed a political party.

Dmytro Yarosh was also elected as the leader of the party, which also announced he would stand in Ukraine's presidential election on May 25.

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