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Ukraine puts head of banned Communist Party on wanted list

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 21, 2024 12:09 AM 1 min read
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Former Communist Party of Ukraine leader Petro Symonenko, archived by Wikimedia from his now-defunct personal website. 

Ukraine's Interior Ministry has put the former head of the banned Ukrainian Communist Party, Petro Symonenko, on a wanted list, according to the ministry's site.

Symonenko fled to Russia in March 2022 and became a deputy head of an international alliance of communist parties, according to Ukrainian investigators.

He appeared at a pro-Russian forum in Minsk in 2022 and supported the invasion of Ukraine.  

He's charged with using the media to call for overthrowing the government and justifying Russia's aggression.  He faces up to five years for the first charge and from five to eight years for the second.    

The Communist Party of Ukraine was founded in 1993, claiming to be the rightful successor to the communist party of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Ukraine's security services have reported that the party supported Russian proxies in Donbas after the 2014 invasion. It was banned in 2015.

Symonenko tried to run in the 2019 presidential election but was prohibited.

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