On alarming political situation in Ukraine
We regret to inform that the political situation in Ukraine has long gone out of the legal framework and turned into massive political persecution of dissent. One of its consequences may be the escalation of the conflict in Donbas, which may potentially grow into a big war in Europe. Moreover, we have reason to claim that certain forces in Ukraine and outside are deliberately striving towards this.
We, the “Opposition Platform - For Life” political party, formed the second largest faction in the Verkhovna Rada following the 2019 elections. At the end of 2020, due to the systemic failures of the socio-economic policy of the Zelensky team, as well as his de facto refusal to settle the conflict in Donbas peacefully, our political force started to lead in political polls. The government has responded not with a change of its own policy, but with systemic repression against our team. In February 2021, without a court decision and in violation of legislation, three TV channels owned by a member of our party Taras Kozak were closed. The channels were declared propagandist without any evidence or court decisions. Further, the Ukrainian authorities have created a world precedent by imposing sanctions on the own citizens – representatives of our party and even their family members.
This campaign culminated in the charges with high treason filed by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine against Viktor Medvedchuk, the chair of the political council of “Opposition Platform - For Life”, as a result of which he was placed under house arrest. Viktor Medvedchuk is a politician of peace number one for Ukraine. He has basically no one to compete with in this nomination, since the policy of peace is assessed by official Kyiv as a betrayal. Viktor Medvedchuk was engaged in lots of talks to resolve the conflict in Donbas, helped thousands of Ukrainian citizens return home from captivity, held a number of negotiations with official Moscow to ease tensions and resume a political dialogue. For all this, the Ukrainian authorities groundlessly accused him of high treason. Probably Mr. Medvedchuk has not served the interests of this government, but he serves the Ukrainian people and the interests of Ukraine.
Our position, which we have never hidden from anyone, is largely different from the official position of the Ukrainian government, led by both former President Poroshenko and incumbent President Zelensky. The essence of the difference is simple: official Kyiv views the conflict in Donbas exclusively as an aggression from the Russian Federation, while we believe that this conflict is largely due to the internal policy of the Ukrainian government.
Official propaganda encourages military hysteria and calls for cracking down on supporters of peace in Ukraine under the martial law, to eliminate them without any trial or investigation. Amidst this military hysteria and legal arbitrariness, our political force has the courage to say that the presence of a conflict in Donbas does not give the Ukrainian authorities any grounds to oppress the Russian language inside the country, same as the Russian culture, to propagandize war, to encourage the surge of far-right movements and violence on their part, to infringe on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Official Kyiv, waving the EU flag, counts on the indulgence from Western countries. It demands that the EU and NATO maintain anti-Russian sanctions that are harmful to the economies of European countries, refuse to cooperate with the Russian Federation on many issues on the international agenda, arguing that these steps are supposedly necessary for the early implementation of the Minsk agreements. Meanwhile, in practice, the Zelensky administration has undertaken a path towards abandoning the Minsk agreements and actually freezing the conflict. In other words, official Kyiv took on the role of a barrier on the way to normalizing relations between the West and the East of our continent, which can only be beneficial to external players who want to further divide Europe and rule here.
Similarly, the authorities justify and legitimize the suppression of freedom of speech and reprisals against the political opposition in Ukraine by the costs of confrontation with Russia. At the same time, many government officials and oligarchs close to Moscow continue to do business with Russia, benefit from the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory, and expand the supply of electricity and fuel. In other words, the “war with Russia”, same as under Poroshenko, is only a cover for suppressing competitors and forcing the West to ignore systemic corruption, disruption of reforms, and monopolization of entire sectors of the economy by businessmen close to Zelensky.
The time has come, through the joint efforts of the international community and Ukrainian society, to make the Zelensky administration accountable for both its illegal actions and inaction in the matters of peace and the fight against corruption. The endless game with the West at “loyal bad guys” who steal, hinder reforms, ruin the system of state governance, but are forgiven every time under the pretext “but they are against Moscow”, systematically discredits the West itself. If another high-ranking foreign official, in response to claims of corruption in state-owned companies, is satisfied with stories in the style of “but we are persecuting Medvedchuk”, then what standards and values can we talk about. Cannibal dictator Bokassa was also valued by some European leaders for his “fight against communism”.
“Opposition Platform - For Life” invites everyone who wants to fight for the preservation of peace in Europe to join forces and create conditions for a dialogue in Donbas, putting an end to the persecution of Ukrainian politicians and activists advocating a diplomatic settlement of problems in this part of the continent, and also to condemn the illegal actions of the Ukrainian authorities. The issue of peace in Europe and credibility of the values it proclaims is the most important and urgent.
“Opposition Platform - For Life” political party