A few days ago Ukrainian government suspended 11 political parties with links to Russia(original order here), specifically: Opposition 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 (emphasis mine).

Socialist and left-wing parties in Ukraine, for obvious historical reasons, have stronger ties to Russia. What interests me is whether any Western socialists or pro-socialist politicians issued clarifying statements in connection to this?


  • I am mostly interested in Bernie Sanders and the Squad in the US, as well as the Socialist and Communist candidates in the nearing French presidential election.
  • 7
    To what extent are these actually left-wing parties as per a "Western" understanding of left-wing? For example, the Wikipedia article on the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine states (without providing details) that the party uses left-wing rethoric, but actually espouses conservative positions.
    – Arno
    Mar 23, 2022 at 9:56
  • @Arno I remarked on the historical reasons - conservative in post-Soviet space is usually everything related to the USSR, which is socialist in economic sphere, but rather non-liberal in terms of individual freedoms.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:09
  • 6
    Keep in mind there is socialist and there is "socialist". Many political groups pretend to be socialist but are really just fascist (or something else) in socialist's clothing.
    – user253751
    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:21
  • 3
    So 5 out of 11 banned were Socialist? Seems about half. Can't see an anti-left bias there. The Kremlin is suspected of creating spoiler parties of all colors, by the way. Inside and outside Russia. The BBC seems correct that out of those 11 "Opposition Platform - For Life" is the largest, and it's not a Socialist one, at least not by name.
    – Fizz
    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:36
  • 1
    @Fizz I am not claiming any bias here - just asking whether there were any statements in this relation. On the nature of socialism in post-Soviet space, see me above comments.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


Frame shift: is it unusual for democracies to ban political parties in wartime, if those parties have specific ties to enemy nations? So why do left-aligned parties in the West really have to give an opinion?

Also, I question the notion that Western Socialist, not Communist parties have significant affiliations with Russia now. Or indeed that they did in Soviet times.

Currently, a lot of Putin affiliation seems to be more on the right end of things, for example Le Pen's campaign getting a loan.

In fact, Le Pen is not the only hard right party with this image problem (that's an Economist article, so behind a paywall, but the cringe-y picture of Italy's Salvini, in the dark jacket, is viewable without logging in).

On a visit to the Polish border town of Przemysl on March 8th he was humiliated by the mayor, who presented him with a t-shirt featuring Mr Putin—similar to one Mr Salvini wore smilingly in a photo on Red Square in 2014 (see picture: Mr Salvini is on the right)

And let's not even mention our dear Tucker Carlson. I am no fan of Sanders. Or "The Squad", whose main contribution seems to consist of feeding oxygen to "radical left" hysteria by Trump supporters. But this question is out of the blue and skirts close to "aim to discredit".

  • 2
    Oh, I see, Socialist Ukrainian parties -> Belarus, rather than Western Socialist parties -> Belarus. I have no opinion, but it's also not that relevant to my line of answer, which is that the OP's question doesn't seem to have a lot of solid ground for being asked. Also "need to be proven" is easy to say, from within a country not at war. Ukraine may very well need to clean up its act, on all sorts of levels, once it gets past this crisis. Esp if it wants to join the EU. But for now it doesn't seem totally unreasonable to temp-ban parties that can reasonably be claimed to be proRussia Mar 23, 2022 at 19:19
  • 3
    Seems more like a comment than an answer.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 23, 2022 at 19:44
  • 1
    It is not uncommon, but that is quite different from suggesting that it a good idea. Yes, democracies have a long history of restrictions on parties (and whole groups of people) accused of sympathies toward their enemies. But this is fundamentally against the nature of liberal democracy: the freedom to disagree with your government's stance even during a war.
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 23, 2022 at 21:07
  • 1
    As I mentioned above, this is the reasoning that Cuba uses to ban all opposition parties: that they have ties to the United States. It doesn't sound any better when the Ukrainian government does it. Unless the party is directly being controlled by Russia, which may the case with some, it just ends up amounting to suppression of disagreement. Most of these pro-Russian parties don't even support Putin's invasion (at least publicly). The same thing with Zelenskiy's idea to combine all TV channels to have "a unified message" (read: make sure that his perspective is the only one).
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 23, 2022 at 21:08
  • 2
    @Obie2.0 it's more than just an accusation. The head of the block has personal family ties to Putin. And his party has connections to the violent pro-Russian separatists in the East of Ukraine. He himself has been sanctioned by the United States for his involvement in Russia's annexation of Crimea.
    – wrod
    Mar 23, 2022 at 22:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .