Opposition Parties Banned in Ukraine: Natalia Vitrenko Speaks Out

On Sept. 27, the Administrative Appeals Court of Ukraine’s Supreme Court upheld the banning of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), as we reported last week. The chairwoman of the party, Natalia Vitrenko, issued a response in a Sept. 30 message to her fellow party members and friends all over the world. She called the decision “not only … a politically motivated punishment of our party, but it tramples on all the foundations of European democracy.”

Her message should shock all decent people. To show that “the motive for banning the Party was based on political accusations, not on any legal substantiation,” she quotes from the grounds given by the Justice Ministry and Special Security of Ukraine (SBU), which included that the PSPU opposed Ukraine joining NATO and the EU, based on the policy maintained by the PSPU since its founding in 1996, that Ukraine should maintain a “neutral, non-bloc status,” to allow for its successful development as an independent, sovereign state, within its 1991 borders, and with a guarantee of security from all leading countries in the world.

Also cited as grounds for banning the party were that it opposed the rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler’s collaborators in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and that it remained faithful “to Eastern Slavic culture and canonical Orthodoxy”!

Furthermore, the PSPU’s fierce and unceasing rejection of IMF policies earned it the permanent enmity of “world imperialism” and Ukrainian fascists alike. Natalia Vitrenko, who is also a former MP in the Ukrainian parliament, explains: “They always fought against us, because we openly opposed the model of peripheral, colonial capitalism, imposed upon Ukraine by the IMF, and we opposed privatization, the creation of an oligarchy, financial speculation, the cheap-labor model, capital flight, labor flight, the sale of land.… [W]e have been the only party in Ukraine to propose a scientifically based, comprehensive program of reforms for the country. I am certain that the implementation of our program would have prevented the current tragedy of the war, destruction of the economy, dying out of the population, and territorial losses….

“The position of our Party was always an impediment to the ruling governments’ ability to loot the country, mercilessly exploit the population of Ukraine, and conduct domestic and foreign policies in the interests not of their own people, but of the West’s imperialists….

“I am convinced that neither those in power in Ukraine, nor the Supreme Court, have succeeded in defeating our ideas or proving the illegality of our activity. Their ban on the Party is not the period at the end of a sentence, but a comma. History acquits us. The true guilty parties in the tragedy of the war will be named. Truth and justice will prevail,” she firmly concluded.

The full statement can be read in English translation here.

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