Communist Party of Ukraine
|Communist Party of Ukraine
Комуністична партія України
|First Secretary||Petro Symonenko|
|Second Secretary||Igor Alekseyev|
|Parliamentary leader||Petro Symonenko|
|Founded||19 June 1993|
|Preceded by||Communist Party of Ukraine|
|Youth wing||Komsomol of Ukraine|
|Political position||Left-wing to Far-left|
|International affiliation||International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties|
|Continental affiliation||Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Politics of Ukraine
In its statute the Communist party claims that "on voluntary basis it unites citizens of Ukraine who are supporters of the Communist idea". The party considers itself a successor of the Communist Party of Ukraine of the Soviet Union and claims that prohibition of that party in August 1991 was unlawful, which was confirmed by the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on 27 December 2001. The party sets itself in an opposition to any government and seeks a full restoration of the socialist state in the country without any particular association with any other political parties.
The Communist Party of Ukraine is a parliamentary party since 1994 and until the Orange Revolution it was the major party of the parliament. The party won 32 seats in the Ukrainian parliament in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.
In February 2014, the party came out in firm opposition of the Euromaidan violence and identified the movement as a "coup" to overthrow the elected government and replace it with a pro-NATO regime, and in an open plea from the First Secretary, called for all communists and left-wing movements around the world to condemn the events as such. Several legislators, after Viktor Yanukovych's ouster, have talked about the possibility of outlawing the KPU because of its anti-Euromaidan stance.
The KPU formally considers itself the direct descendant of the Communist Party of Ukraine, a branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which was founded on 5 July 1918 in Moscow. The original communist party existed until 6 November 1991, when the CPSU and its branch in Ukraine were banned. Between 1991 and 1993, several small communist organizations were created throughout Ukraine. "Without clear legality" communists from all over Ukraine convened on 6 March 1993 for the All-Ukrainian Conference for Communists in an attempt to reestablish the KPU. In reaction the Verkhovna Rada, two months later, legalized the establishment of communist parties. On 19 June 1993, the 1st Congress of the newly-founded KPU was convened—officially it was designated as the 29th Congress, to denote it as a direct successor to the Soviet KPU—and it elected Petro Symonenko as First Secretary.
In the 1994 presidential election the KPU supported the candidacy of Oleksandr Moroz from the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU). The relationship between the KPU and SPU was strong throughout the 1990s, with Moroz even speaking to the 22nd KPU Congress (held in 1999). At the 1998 parliamentary elections the KPU won 121 seats, constituting 19.5% of the seats in the Verkhovna Rada. The good result led the KPU to field their own candidate in the 1999 presidential election; they nominated party leader Symonenko. Symonenko received 23.1 percent of the votes in the first round, trailing behind Leonid Kuchma who received 38,0 percent of the votes. In the second round Symonenko received 38,8 percent, losing to Kuchma who received 57,7 percent of the vote.
The KPU was established as "the inheritor of the ideas and traditions of the KPU, as it existed until its banning in August 1991." In general, the party has laid weight on nostalgia for the Soviet Union to gain votes. In contrast to many parts of the former Soviet Union, where leftist conservatives have tried to win votes by promoting local nationalism, the KPU supports a form of Soviet nationalism, considering the establishment of an independent Ukraine as illegal. The party has remained loyal to the legacy of the Soviet Union. In 1998, to celebrate the would-be 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union, the KPU published Historical Thesis, a text which painted a rosy picture of the former state. The Soviet Union is barely criticized, and controversial events such as the Great Purge and Holodomor are not mentioned in the party press. There are some who are favorable to Joseph Stalin's legacy, giving the impression that things "only began to go wrong with [Nikita] Khrushchev's 'adventurism'." Despite all this, when the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) is criticized at all, the favored line is that the party and state lost their belief in key Leninist principles. Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, "is still considered sacrosanct" by the party, and official pronouncements talk of the "Leninist Communist Party of Ukraine" and more precisely, that the KPU still continues "speaking in the words of Lenin".
Symonenko has criticized the label of conservative on the KPU, stating that the party is not willing to abandon its own history. He has referred to the dissolution of the Soviet Union as "the tragic events of the recent past". Further, the KPU believes the Soviet Union "was criminally destroyed". The party believes that Ukraine has been living off the legacy of the Soviet Union since its independence. However, certain concessions to the present have been made; at the 2nd KPU Congress it was stated that "it would be utopian to try and revive a socio-economic system of different relations, which existed in different conditions, under different principles and different organizations of production and distribution, different social-class structures of society, a different level of consciousness".
The party still adheres and believes in the Marxian concepts of class struggle and historical materialism. Their ongoing belief in historical materialism cements their views that the socialist mode of production will still be the society of the future. It could be said that the party believed stronger than ever in the possibility of a socialist future since the "careerists", symbolized by Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk, were gone.
The KPU believes that, since the West has developed into a post-industrial society, capitalism through globalization was actively "de-modernizing" Ukraine. This was in their favor, since de-modernization would lead to the reestablishment of a dominant proletarian class. As Vasyl Tereshchuk, a Party theoretician, noted, "People are surviving on what they accumulated in the years of Soviet power: that is, they are not yet a classic proletariat as they still have much to lose (a flat, a car, a dacha, etc.). But their full proletarianization will come sooner or later." Secondly, the dissolution of the Soviet Union directly led to the reestablishment of class antagonism in society. This antagonism led to the exploitation of the proletariat by a "a comprador bourgeoisie [...] behind which stands world imperialism headed by the USA". According to Symonenko, on this basis, there was no chance for a social democratic movement ever to develop in Ukraine. The "softening of class antagonism in the West", which had led to the establishment of social democratic parties, "was only possible because the local working class, as part of the 'golden billion', lived 'as parasites on the labour of the countries of the world periphery' to which Ukraine was rapidly being consigned. Ukraine could not expect any 'lessening of class antagonism, only the reverse."
Views on nationalism
The party, at least in the beginning, is best described as Soviet nationalist (nationalist in the sense that they are nostalgic for the Soviet Union). As Yurii Solomatin, a member of parliament, noted in 2000; "we are Soviet communists; we are Soviet people; we are Soviet patriots". The party continues speaking about the existence of a "Soviet people" and "Soviet homeland", and at the beginning, no concessions were given to local, Ukrainian nationalism. There has been no talk of establishing a national communism unique to Ukraine, and the 1st KPU Congress even criticized the notion of establishing an unique "Ukrainian communism". Instead, the KPU has opted promoting Ukraine as a "bi-cultural state". At the 1st KPU Congress, Symonenko told the delegates that "'the interests, rights and specific traits of one nation above those of other nations and nationalities', and in which 'the Ukrainian language' should not be 'over'-privileged, but left alone to enjoy 'its natural development, purged of the imposed language of the diaspora. The Russian language, as the native language of half the population of Ukraine, [should be given] the status of a state language alongside Ukrainian." Their views on nationalism is highly nostalgic; when the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP–CPSU), a loose organization of post-Soviet parties was formed, is was met with open arms. However, when the Communist Party of the Russian Federation proposed in 1995, to transform the organization into a modern-day Comintern, the KPU opposed because of their Soviet nationalist views.
In recent years their commitment to Soviet nationalism has been partially replaced with a vaguer East Slavic nationalism. Wishing not to reestablish a union with Russia "'as a protectorate of the Russian bourgeoisie", "the Ukrainian Communists have rediscovered the natural link from Soviet to East Slavic or Eurasian nationalism in the supposed common 'economic civilization' and proclivity for collective labour of all the East Slavic peoples." As noted in the party journal Communist, the "'Soviet man [...] did not emerge from nothing before him stood the courageous Slavic-Rusich, the labour-loving Ukrainian peasant, the self-sacrificing Cossack." At the 4th KPU Congress, the party finally conceded that Ukraine would not join any particular union as long as it weakened the country's sovereignty.
Because of these views, Symonenko has been referred to as an Ukrainophobe. Symonenko made controversy in 2007 when he accused the Ukrainian nationalist figure Roman Shukhevych of collaborationism with the Nazi Germany, for which the Pechersk District Court of Kiev city declared Symonenko's statement as false and obligated Symonenko publicly to disprove the "myth", and pay all court fees. These views are commonplace amongst Western Historians, linking Shukhevych to the Waffen-SS Nachtigall Battalion.
Party's electoral results
The electorate of the party is very loyal to them.
The first ten members on the party list were: Petro Symonenko (MP), Omelian Parubok (MP), Anatoliy Nalyvaiko (tunneler of the Karl Marks Mine (Yenakieve)), Borys Oliynyk (MP), Valeria Zaklunna-Myronenko (actress of the Lesya Ukrainka Theater (Kiev)), Adam Martynyuk (the 2nd secretary of the Central Committee of CPU), Anatoliy Draholyuntsev (mechanic-electrician at Luhanskteplovoz), Vasyl Sirenko (Koretsky Institute of State and Law (NANU), unaffiliated), Borys Molchanov (tool craftsman at Dniproshyna), Anatoliy Strohov (pensioner).
At the parliamentary elections on 30 March 2002, the party won 19.98% of the popular vote and 66 out of 450 seats in the Verkhovna Rada. The first ten members on the party list were: Petro Symonenko (MP), Omelian Parubok (MP), Ivan Herasymov (Head of the Veterans of Ukraine Organization, unaffiliated), Borys Oliynyk (MP), Valeria Zaklunna-Myronenko (MP), Adam Martynyuk (MP), Stanislav Hurenko (MP), Oleksandr Tkachenko (MP), Anatoliy Nalyvaiko (MP), Oleh Blokhin (MP, unaffiliated).
Since then the party lost much support, particularly after the Orange Revolution. In the 2006 parliamentary election the party won 3.66% and 21 seats. The first ten members on the party list were: Petro Symonenko (MP), Adam Martynyuk (MP), Ivan Herasymov (MP), Kateryna Samoilyk (MP), Omelian Parubok (MP), Valeria Zaklunna-Myronenko (MP), Oleksandr Holub (MP), Valentyn Matvyeyev (MP), Oleksandr Tkachenko (MP), Petro Tsybenko (MP).
In the parliamentary elections on 30 September 2007, the party won 5.39% of the popular vote and 27 out of 450 seats. The first ten members on the party list were: Petro Symonenko (MP), Yevhen Volynets (tunneler of the Vasily Chapayev Mine (Shakhtarsk)), Maryna Perestenko (Head of the Mars farm (Simferopol Raion)), Ivan Herasymov (MP), Yuriy Haidayev (Minister of Healthcare, unaffiliated), Adam Martynyuk (1st deputy Chairman of parliament), Valeriy Bevz (Deputy Minister of Emergencies), Oleksandr Tkachenko (MP), Oleksandr Holub (MP), Ihor Aleksyeyev (MP).
The party participated in the 2010 presidential election as part of the Election bloc of left and central left political forces.
In the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election the party won 13.18% of the national votes, and no constituencies (it had competed in 220 of the 225 constituencies), and thus 32 seats. The party did win about one and a half million votes compared with the results of the previous election. Independent candidate Oksana Kaletnyk joined the Communist parliamentary faction on 12 December 2012. The first ten members on the party list were: Petro Symonenko (MP), Petro Tsybenko (MP), Iryna Spirina (Head of Psychiatric Department (Dnipropetrovsk Medical Academy)), Spiridon Kilinkarov (MP), Oleksandr Prysyazhnyuk (unemployed), Ihor Aleksyeyev (MP), Ihor Kalyetnik (Head of the State Customs Service of Ukraine), Adam Martynyuk (1st deputy Chairman of parliament), Valentyn Matvyeyev (MP), Yevhen Marmazov (MP).
|Presidential since 1994
(year links to election page)
|Parliamentary since 1994
(year links to election page)
- March - December 2007 Yuriy Haidayev Ministry of Healthcare (Ukraine) (Second Government of Yanukovych)
- Yuriy Haidayev is officially unaffiliated, but on the party list to parliament from the Communist Party
- "Populism in Ukraine in a Comparative European Context (in English)". Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 57, no. 6, pp. 3-18. November/December 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Open Appeal from the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine
- Bozoki & Ishiyama 2002, p. 401.
- Bozoki & Ishiyama 2002, p. 402.
- Bozoki & Ishiyama 2002, pp. 403–404.
- In the name of Ukraine, the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine
- Wilson 2002, p. 30.
- Wilson 2002, p. 29.
- Wilson 2002, p. 31.
- Wilson 2002, p. 32.
- Wilson 2002, pp. 32–33.
- Wilson 2002, p. 33.
- Wilson 2002, p. 34.
- Wilson 2002, pp. 34–35.
- Wilson 2002, p. 35.
- Wilson 2002, p. 45.
- Lesiv, K; Yaschenko, A; Mishchenko, M (23 August 2011). "Експерти визначили найбільш активних українофобів часів Незалежності" [Experts defined the most active Ukrainophobes in times of the independence]. Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Син Шухевича нагадав Литвину, що Симоненко має вибачитися за брехню про Гітлера" [Son of Shukhevych reminded Lytvyn that Symonenko has to apologize for the lie about Hitler]. Ukrayinska Pravda. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Die Kollaboration in der Ukraine", Christoph Dieckmann, Babette Quinkert, Tatjana Tönsmeyer (eds.), Kooperation und Verbrechen. Formen der “Kollaboration“ im östlichen Europa 1939-1945 (Göttingen: Wallenstein, 2003), p. 176
- Ruth Wodak, John E. Richardson, ed. (2013). Analysing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text (Volume 5 of Routledge critical studies in discourse ed.). Routledge. p. 235. ISBN 9780415899192.
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2008 Vol.1. US Government Printing Office. p. 1777. ISBN 9780160875151.
- Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, Brian Jenkins, ed. (2012). Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational. Routledge. p. 189-201. ISBN 9781136330384.
- Payne, Steven (2013). Perpetrators, Accomplices and Victims. Routledge. p. 259. ISBN 9781317989974.
- Tottle, D (1987). Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard. Progress. p. 103. ISBN 0919396518.
- Poliszczuk, Wiktor (1999). Bitter truth: the criminality of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) : the testimony of a Ukrainian. University of Michigan Press. p. 148. ISBN 9780969944492.
- Eight Reasons Why Ukraine’s Party of Regions Will Win the 2012 Elections by Taras Kuzio, The Jamestown Foundation (17 October 2012)
UKRAINE: Yushchenko needs Tymoshenko as ally again by Taras Kuzio, Oxford Analytica (5 October 2007)
- (Ukrainian) Комуністична партія України, Database DATA
- Bloc of left and center-left forces to nominate CPU Leader for Ukraine's president, Interfax-Ukraine (3 October 2009)
- Ukrainian parliament creates new coalition, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
- (Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (8 November 2010)
- (Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
- (Ukrainian) Proportional votes & Constituency seats, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
- After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Калетнік прийшла до комуністів, оскільки не хоче бути "інгредієнтом" Kaletnik came to the Communists because they do not want to be "ingredient", Ukrayinska Pravda (12 December 2012)
- Articles & journal entries
- (Ukrainian) (Russian) Official website