Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sunday that 11 political parties with links to Russia would be outlawed, including the Opposition Platform for Life party that currently has 44 of the 450 total seats in Ukraine’s parliament.
Opposition Platform for Life, led by Viktor Medvedchuk, a political opposition leader with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, would be banned along with 10 other smaller parties in a move criticized by many international observers.
“The activities of those politicians aimed at division or collusion will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response,” Zelensky stated on Sunday in a televised address to the nation. “Therefore, the national security and defence council decided, given the full-scale war unleashed by Russia, and the political ties that a number of political structures have with this state, to suspend any activity of a number of political parties for the period of martial law.”
Zelensky also announced that all national television channels would be consolidated into one state-run channel, effectively shutting down all private television platforms, in an effort to create a “unified information policy.”
Zelensky has a track record of persecuting his political opposition and banning media outlets critical of his regime. Just last year, Medvedchuk was arrested for treason and placed on house arrest. Earlier this year, Zelensky’s predecessor, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, was also accused and prosecuted for treason by the Zelensky regime, which he denounced as a politically motivated prosecution. In early 2021, Zelensky banned three Russian-leaning news stations, revoking their broadcasting licenses.
As Zelensky pursues openly totalitarian policies to consolidate his power in Ukraine, videos are emerging of Ukrainian civilians being abused and tortured, often as a result of being accused of supporting or sympathizing with the Russians.
Ukraine, abuses and tortures to civilians labelled as "marauders" are widespread all over government controlled areas. Paramilitary, National guard, civilians. All participants of a crime against human rights. Men, women and even kids are punished. pic.twitter.com/pd07bKn3Np
— Juan Sinmiedo (@Youblacksoul) March 20, 2022