The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ordered the banning of the nation’s 11 remaining left-wing opposition parties in a live stream on Saturday.
In a tweet, British publication Challenge Magazine reported that the Ukrainian president had banned For Life, Sharij’s Party, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Derzhava, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists, and Volodymyr Saldo’s Bloc.
The publication said that Zelenskyy had accused the parties of being “pro-Russian” and distorted facts due to the parties being anti-war.
"Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists, and Volodymyr Saldo’s Bloc"
Accusing the now-banned parties as being "pro-Russian", it appears that Zelenskyy has distorted the truth, with some of those parties being anti-war. (2/6)
— Challenge Magazine (@ChallengeYCL) March 20, 2022
The news was met by anger, with international journalist Richard Medhurst commenting that if the Russian President Vladimir Putin would have done something similar, then it would have been declared as a Stalin-esque move, in a reference to the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s mass killings.
If Putin banned 11 opposition parties under the pretext of war, just as Zelensky has done today, Western media would be likening it to a Stalinesque purge.
— Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) March 20, 2022
A tech writer commented on the issue saying that deification of political leaders was bad and bound to make anyone look less than smart.
it’s almost like deifying political leaders is bad and guaranteed to make you look like a fucking idiot https://t.co/FILUQwagd6
— The PS1 startup sound as a Lesbian (@janusrose) March 20, 2022
However, some also took to Twitter, shedding doubt on the cause of the ban. Podcaster Sean Oakley said that some of the banned parties had shown sympathies with Russia and were at risk of being installed as puppet administrations in occupied cities.
Not strictly true. Some of the parties banned are about Soviet nostalgia, with no real focus on social change, and some of the pro-Russia parties are really at risk of being installed as puppet admins in occupied cities. And other left-wing Ukrainian parties aren’t banned at all? https://t.co/XGvVWhX2nK
— Sean Oakley (@SeanAntonOakley) March 21, 2022
Another user shared a series of screenshots with his tweet that showed the parties’ political ideologies as pro-russian. They also showed that some of these banned parties were not left-wing at all as the publication had claimed.
"Wow I can't believe Zelensky banned opposition parties!!"
The parties: pic.twitter.com/4E2g19RbOd
— Nikolaj🍦🧦🇺🇦 (@nikicaga) March 20, 2022