Up to a dozen Ukraine officials dumped in wheelie bins

07/10/2014 15:08


It’s a bad time to be a Ukrainian politician.

The war in the east refuses to end, despite a “ceasefire”. Winter is approaching, and with it all the worries of another “gas-war” with Russia. And with parliamentary elections just weeks away, pre-revolutionary MPs are getting nervous about hanging on to their jobs.

To make things worse, there is a growing chance of ending up in a wheelie bin.

Since early September up to a dozen MPs, city councillors and other officials accused of wrong doing have been hauled from their offices by masked gangs in what has become know as the “Trash Bucket Challenge.”

The perpetrators - often members of the radical right-wing group Right Sector - say the public humiliations are to punish the corruption and criminality that characterised the previous regime.

But critics warn the attacks are just one step away from mob justice and public lynchings.

“The main thing in our country now is that the criminals are all still there,” said Yury Mindiuk, the head of Right Sector’s central executive. “No one wants to implement the ideas of Maidan.”

Right Sector emerged as an alliance of far right groups during the revolution, and earned a fearsome reputation as one of the most militant elements in the street fighting that led to Mr Yanukovych’s overthrow. Since then some members of the group have fought in the war in eastern Ukraine, but they have struggled to find political relevance in post-revolutionary politics.

It was the group’s Odessa branch that came up with the idea last month, when they dumped Oleg Rudenko, a city insurance official accused of taking a £28,000 bribe, in a trash can.

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