The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved the draft law banning the activity of pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine. This includes any political forces justifying Russian aggression.
The document is intended to protect the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine from political forces collaborating with the enemy and aiming to overturn the government of Ukraine, to destroy and replace the national identity of its citizens.
The law states its mission to legislate the procedure of prohibiting and terminating the activity of pro-Russian parties in order to protect democracy in Ukraine
Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a parliamentarian from the Holos faction, wrote on his Telegram channel that Draft Law 7172-1 on the ban of the activity of pro-Russian parties was adopted on the session as a whole.
The decision was supported by 330 members of parliament, and no one introduced or blocked any amendments. Even 17 former members of the faction representing Opposition Platform — For Life (OPFL), a pro-Russian party, voted favor.
Pro-Russian parties: Criteria
Olena Shuliak, the leader of the Servant of the People party, stated that the law provides for the prohibition of any parties with program objectives or actions aimed at:
- justifying, recognizing the legitimacy of or denying armed aggression against Ukraine, including by presenting armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine as an internal conflict, a civil conflict, or a civil war, or denying temporary partial occupation of the territory of Ukraine;
- glorifying or justifying actions or failure to act by any persons who committed or are committing armed aggression against Ukraine, or members of the military forces of the Russian Federation, other illegal military groups, gangs or mercenary groups created by and/or reporting to, and/or commanded by, and/or financed by the Russian Federation, as well as representatives of the occupation government of the Russian Federation, including by referring to those persons as "rebels", "insurgents" or "polite people".
The draft law specifies that the activity of a party may be banned if it justifies or denies Russian armed aggression against Ukraine or represents such aggression as an "internal conflict".
At the end of March the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine suspended the activity of OPFL and ten other political parties with links to Russia.
Back then the Party of Shariy, Nashi, the Opposition Bloc, the Left Opposition, the Union of Leftists, Derzhava, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists party, and Volodymyr Saldo Bloc, aside from the OPFL, were included to the NSDC’s blacklist.
The Head of OPFL political council is Viktor Medvedchuk (President Putin is the godfather of his child); back in May 2021 the Security Service of Ukraine filed a treason case against him. In April the SSU apprehended Medvedchuk who escaped house arrest in the first days of the military invasion. On April 16 the court changed pre-trial restrictions for Medvedchuk, remanding him.
The draft law was filed on March 28, 2022, and was passed through first reading on April 1.