Ukraine ultimately puts Nazis, Communists on equal footing

Phot. Serg Glovny / Zuma Press / Forum

On July 16, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court declared constitutional the Law on Condemning Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes in Ukraine and a ban on promoting their symbols. The judgment is final.

In May 2017, 46 Ukrainian MPs, mainly from the Opposition Bloc faction, appealed to the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional the law on decommunization.

According to the court, the right to freedom of thought and speech and the free expression of views and beliefs are not absolute; they may be restricted by law in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety. The law was adopted to prevent the recurrence of crimes of Nazi and Communist regimes in the future, the judges said.

“The Communist and Nazi regimes were of the same criminal nature, and they had the same methods of pursuing the repressive policies. These regimes flatly denied the possibility of the existence of an independent state of Ukraine, persecuted its supporters and stood in the way of the Ukrainian national revival,” the statement reads.

The decommunization laws in Ukraine came into force on May 21, 2015. They prohibited Soviet symbols, condemned the Communist regime, opened the archives of the Soviet secret services and recognized UPA as fighters for the independence of Ukraine.

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