Parliament of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada, on 9 April 2015 passed a legislation that equates Communism with Nazism (nationalist-socialist) and banned both the regimes. The law even banned the public use and propaganda of their symbols.
The legislation was passed by absolute majority with 254 MPs (Member of Parliament) voting in favour, which was much higher than the required minimum of 226 votes.
The aim of the law is to not allow such crimes to happen in future and eliminate the threat to Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security.
Main highlights of the legislation
• It denounces communist and national-socialist (or Nazi) totalitarian regimes as being criminal under the law
• It bans all organizations, political parties or media accused of propaganda of communism or Nazism.
• It provides for investigation of the supporters of the regimes and making the information about them public
• The law does not ban communist ideology, as that would contradict the basics of any democratic state
Besides this, another law that officially recognizes Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with Nazis in the 20th century as freedom fighters and grants them social benefit was passed by the Ukrainian Parliament. It was passed by 271 MPs.
This new law also render the actions of Ukrainian nationalists as lawful. The Ukrainian nationalists include amongst others Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), who operated from 1917 till 1991.
These two bills have been criticised by the leader of Ukraine's Communist Party, Pyotr Simonenko. He criticized the Rada's decisions, saying that the law against communism aims to dispose of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War [WWII].