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President Zelensky suspends 11 opposition political parties in Ukraine

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 20/03/2022 Mark Tovey For Mailonline

Volodymyr Zelensky's government has suspended 11 Ukrainian political parties because of their alleged links with Russia.

The decision was taken by the Ukrainian national security and defence council, and although 10 of the 11 were small parties, one - the Opposition Platform for Life - holds 44 of the 450 seats in Ukraine's parliament, according to The Guardian. 

At the same time, Zelensky signed a decree on Sunday to merge all national TV channels into a single government-run service - effectively ending the operation of private TV media.  

The now outlawed Opposition Platform for Life party is led by Viktor Medvedchuk, who enjoys warms relations with the Kremlin - so much so that Vladimir Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuk's daughter.

Medvedchuk was charged with treason last year and put under house arrest, in a move which angered Moscow.

Viktor Medvedchuk (pictured), leader of the Opposition Platform for Life party, was put under house arrest by Zelensky's government last year on charges of treason. The Ukrainian opposition party politician is friendly with the Kremlin, to such an extent that Putin is his daughter's godfather  © Provided by Daily Mail Viktor Medvedchuk (pictured), leader of the Opposition Platform for Life party, was put under house arrest by Zelensky's government last year on charges of treason. The Ukrainian opposition party politician is friendly with the Kremlin, to such an extent that Putin is his daughter's godfather  Zelensky's heavy-handed crackdown on opposition parties with alleged links to the Kremlin came on the tail of a bid by his government to allow only a single national TV channel to operate, in what the besieged administration called a 'unified information policy'  © Provided by Daily Mail Zelensky's heavy-handed crackdown on opposition parties with alleged links to the Kremlin came on the tail of a bid by his government to allow only a single national TV channel to operate, in what the besieged administration called a 'unified information policy' 

The pro-Kremlin oligarch escaped his house imprisonment three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian government, and Medvedchuk's whereabouts are currently unknown. 

President Zelensky accused the 11 blacklisted parties of 'colluding' with the Russian invaders, and said the suspension would last until martial law was lifted. 


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In a video address on Sunday, President Zelensky said: 'The activities of those politicians aimed at division or collusion will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response.

'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.'  

Nashi (Ours) party, led by Yevhen Murayev, is the second biggest of the 11 political parties suspended in the crackdown on opposition parties. 

Nashi (Ours) party, led by Yevhen Murayev (pictured), also saw its operations suspended in Zelensky's clampdown on opposition parties with alleged links to Russia © Provided by Daily Mail Nashi (Ours) party, led by Yevhen Murayev (pictured), also saw its operations suspended in Zelensky's clampdown on opposition parties with alleged links to Russia

Murayev was pinpointed as a potential candidate to lead a puppet government in Kyiv, installed by the Kremlin, according to a British intelligence report before the Russian invasion on February 24 - a claim that the Nashi party leader denied.

The heavy-handed move was criticised by the Kremlin, with ex-president and top security official Dmitry Medvedev writing sarcastically on his Telegram: 'The most democratic president of modern Ukraine has taken another step towards the western ideals of democracy. 

'By decision of the Council for National Defence and Security, he completely banned any activity of opposition parties in Ukraine. 

'They are not needed! Well done! Keep it up.'

The move comes on the tail of a decision by Zelensky to enact what he called a 'unified information policy' during the period of martial law, which will give his government a monopoly on the news.

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