As a culmination of a campaign of legal harassment and physical attacks which started with the victory of the Maidan movement in February 2014, on December 16, the District Administrative Court of Kiev banned the Communist Party of Ukraine.
Today, December 16, the District Administrative Court of Kiev ruled in favour of a lawsuit filed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to ban the Communist Party. The lawsuit accused the Communist party of actions aimed at “amending the constitutional order by force, violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, propaganda of war, violence, incitement of ethnic hatred, encroachment on human rights and freedoms,” according to the Unian news agency.
The Communist Party has announced it will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Since the victory of the Maidan movement in February 2014, the Communist Party was subjected to a relentless campaign of attacks and harassment carried out by the new authorities as well as the fascist gangs which helped them get into power (now acting with full impunity).
In April 2014, the party’s central headquarters were ransacked by fascists thugs as can be seen in this video:
Attacks like these were repeated against Communist Party headquarters across the country.
Party demonstrations were regularly banned by the authorities or attacked by fascist paramilitary gangs, which had become legalised under the guise of “volunteer battalions” fighting in the so-called ATO (“Anti Terrorist Operation”) against the Donbass.
In June 2014 the Ministry of Justice, under instructions from the then acting Prime Minister Yatseniuk, filed a lawsuit to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine. At that time the party had 2.6 million votes (13% of the total).
Other organisations, like Borotba, had already been forced underground in May 2014.
On April 9, 2015, the Ukrainian parliament passed the so-called “de-communisation” laws, banning Communist symbols and propaganda of Communism. The KPU had to change its symbol, abandoning the hammer and sickle for a star and ceased to use the Internationale as its hymn.
In a 24 July 2015 decree based on these laws the Ukrainian Interior Ministry stripped the party of its right to participate in elections (see Kyiv Post). The party contested the October municipal elections under the name of Left Opposition.
On 30 September 2015 the District Administrative Court in Kiev banned the Communist Party of Workers and Peasants and Communist Party of Ukraine (renewed) (see Ukrinform).
The ban on the Communist Party and other organisations, as well as Communist symbols, names and propaganda comes at the same time that far right nationalism becomes the dominant state ideology, based on the glorification of figures like Stepan Bandera and the organisations he led, OUN-UPA, which collaborated with the nazis during WWII and carried out ethnic cleansing.
The Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine campaign strongly protests against this assault on basic democratic rights and calls on all labour movement, left wing, progressive and human rights organisations to reject and mobilise against it.