Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a new law banning pro-Russian political parties.
“The president of Ukraine has signed a law banning pro-Russia political parties! The law will come into force on the day following the day of its publication,” Olha Sovgirya, a deputy from Zelenskiy’s ruling Servant of the People bloc, wrote on telegram on May 14.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, passed the bill on May 3, banning pro-Russian political parties that engage in anti-Ukrainian activities.
On March 20, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council suspended 11 pro-Russian political parties while martial law was in place in the country.
The largest of the parties with links to Russia is the Opposition Platform for Life, which has 44 out of 450 seats in parliament.
The party is led by Viktor Medvedchuk, who has friendly ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter.
The list of the Moscow-friendly parties also included the Nashi (Ours) party led by Yevhen Murayev. British authorities had warned that Russia wanted to install Murayev as the leader of Ukraine.
Moscow “is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine,” and Murayev “is being considered as a potential candidate,” the British Foreign Office said in January.