By Ben Norton
Ukraine’s Western-backed government has used Russia’s February 24 invasion to drastically escalate its repression of the left, banning Ukrainian socialist parties and imprisoning left-wing activists.
There are widespread reports of Ukrainian state security services arresting and torturing leftists. Neo-Nazis and far-right extremists have systematically infiltrated Kiev’s police, military, and intelligence agencies since a US-sponsored 2014 coup installed a compliant pro-Western government.
In an early morning speech on March 20, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council was banning 11 opposition political parties, half of which are left-wing.
Some of the parties that were criminalized include the Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, and Party of Socialists.
Zelensky published an English-language transcript of this speech on the official website of the office of the president, boasting of having prohibited the dozen opposition parties.
To justify illegalizing these left-wing forces, the Ukrainian government accused them of being pro-Russian, or having unproven “ties” to Moscow. However, some of these opposition parties have publicly condemned the Russian invasion.
Ukraine, which is under martial law, is using the war with Russia to crush all political opposition. And the U.S. and EU are staunchly supporting the regime as it consolidates absolute power.