Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky banned 11 opposition political parties and nationalized media. Any activities supporting the parties labeled “pro-Russian” are now illegal.
Axios reports the list of parties now banned include: Platform For Life, Shariy Party, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, State, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialists Party, and Volodymyr Saldo Bloc.
Platform for Life is Ukraine’s largest opposition party and currently holds 44 seats in parliament. Last year, The party’s leader, Viktor Medvedchuk, was accused of treason and placed under house arrest.
Another targeted party, Nashi, is led by Yevhen Murayev. The UK previously accused Murayev of working with Moscow to overthrow the Ukrainian government. However, Murayev was sanctioned by Russia in 2018.
Ukraine’s Russian minority has faced increased discrimination since the 2014 coup. The opposition parties largely represent the 17% of the Ukrainian people who are ethnic Russians. Language and cultural laws have targeted Russian movies, including one starring Zelensky.
The new presidential order is a part of Zelensky’s effort to create a unified political narrative in Ukraine. He has announced an information policy that combines “all national TV channels…[into] a single information platform of strategic communication.”