Ban Won't Impact Existing Fascist Factions

The Ukrainian parliament today approved a law banning “Communist and Nazi regimes,” outlawing all such political parties and the symbols related to them. It also criminalizes any denial of the “criminal character” of such regimes.

The move will primarily ban old Soviet-era flags and monuments in the country, though the ruling will also effectively ban Ukraine’s existing Communist Party, an opposition party that is generally pro-Russian and critical of the new government. The party has no seats in the national parliament, but has 112 seats in regional parliaments.

Communist Party leader Pyotr Simonenko was critical of the move not so much over questions about his own party’s status, but on the grounds it would criminalize the celebration of Soviet troops defeating the Nazis in the nation in WW2, and would bar WW2 veterans from wearing their medals.

Officials in the Ukrainian government had been trying to ban the Communist Party at any rate, though officials say that it will not ban Communist ideology as such.

The Right Sector, a fascist party with neo-Nazi elements within it, does not appear to be affected by the ban.