Ukrainian political party “Opposition Platform – For Life” (“OPZZh”; in Ukrainian: “Опозиційна платформа – За життя”) is a pro-Russian political force acting in coordination with Russian authorities in order to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
This party was formed at the end-2018, as a result of the merger of two pro-Russian political groups before presidential and parliamentary elections – “Opposition Block” and “For Life”. The latter one included members from a pro-Russian NGO “Ukrainian Choice” (in Ukrainian: “Український вибір”) associated with Viktor Medvedchuk, who is a close associate of Russian President Putin.
Mostly, members of political party “Opposition Block” became members of OPZZh. The mentioned party substituted Party of Regions – political force led by Viktor Yanukovich. After the Revolution of Dignity, former members of Party of Regions decided to re-brand this party in order to avoid negative perceptions associated with Yanukovich, who escaped to Russia. It’s confirmed that this “new” party worked with the same team of political consultants (led by Paul Manafort) as the Party of Regions.
Members of OPZZh (and all the above-mentioned predecessors) conducted anti-Ukrainian activities for many years in order to undermine Ukrainian independence and to strengthen Russian influence in all the areas. These efforts included:
(i) spreading Russian narratives, e.g, on “external influence” on Ukrainian government from the West and, in particular, the US; “unity” of Ukrainian and Russian people; “inspiration” of conflict between Russia and Ukraine by the West;
(ii) refusal to recognize Russian aggression and Russian liability for the lack of progress in peaceful settling the conflict in Eastern Ukraine;
(iii) undermining critically important reforms in Ukraine, in particular, anti-corruption reforms, judicial reform, reform of Security Service of Ukraine, other reforms for strengthening rule of law, democratic governance and economic development in Ukraine;
(iv) creation of and engagement to large-scale corruption schemes, especially during the period of Yanukovych presidency;
(v) in certain instances, direct cooperation with Russian intelligence agencies has been in place;
(vi) absence of any counteraction to Russian attempts to spread its influence (including through intelligence agents in the government);
(vii) during the Party of Regions as a ruling party – massive suppression of democratic governance, violations of human rights, concentration of power for building up autocracy in Ukraine, politically motivated prosecutions.
Many OPZZh representatives had strong connections with Russia and Russian authorities for many years (as explained individually). In recent years, MPs from OPZZh conducted separate negotiations with Russian authorities (including President Putin, speaker of Duma Volodin, MPs fromDuma, “Gazprom” management) without official authorization by the Ukrainian government. OPZZh and its predecessors has been having close ties with the Russian ruling party “United Russia” (in Russian: “Единая Россия”).
Even after the start of full-scale Russian aggression in Feb 2022, most of OPZZh representatives at the national and local level didn’t support necessary steps in order to protect Ukrainian independence. As an example, only one OPZZh MP voted in favor of martial law, while all the other simply escaped from Ukraine. Mayor of the city in Kupiansk (Ukraine, Kharkiv region) helped Russian military forces in the occupation of the city and recognized Russian authority over the city (later he was officially suspended in treason and arrested). Several OPZZh representatives even supported or justified Russian aggression and called Ukrainian authorities to capitulate. On March 7, several journalists reported that during cease-fire negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, Russian side demaned to install Yuriy Boiko as Prime Minister.
Three party members – Viktor Medvedchuk, Andriy Voloshyn, and Taras Kozak are already in the US sanction list.
Below is a list of OPzZH MPs, who have been the most vocal and active in advancing Russian agenda in Ukraine:
|Name||Date of Birth||Pro-Russian activities|
|Yuriy Boiko Бойко Юрій Анатолійович||9 October 1958||1) Together with Viktor Medvedchuk, he repeatedly visited the Russian Federation (March / June / July 2019) and held talks with Dmitry Medvedev and Gazprom’s management on Russian gas supplies and other issues, despite the fact that the Ukrainian authorities did not agree and did not authorize them to negotiate any https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/news-boyko-medved%D1%81huk-medvediev/30048820.html https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-polytics/2737712-medvedcuk -i-bojko-proveli-u-moskvi-cergovi-peregovori-z-medvedevim.html 2) Yuriy Boyko was a member of the Yanukovych-era government according to the investigation, purchased at inflated prices oil rigs located in the Black Sea. During Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, the rigs were seized by the Russian military. https://cutt.ly/mAqymuI https://www.althoughda.com.ua/publications/2018/03/12/634868/ 3) Yuriy Boyko systematically voiced pro-Russian narratives and criticized Euro-Atlantic anti-corruption reforms https: // www.radiosvoboda.org/a/boyko-10-tsytat-za-5-rokiv/29818299.html 4) The OPZZH faction organized a protest action outside the US Embassy in Kyiv against the alleged “external governance” of Ukraine, which was attended by some deputies – members of the faction http://zl-ua.news/mitynh-opzzh-pid-posolstvom-ssha-u-kyievi-proty-druha-putina-foto-video/|
|Anatoliy Burmych Бурміч Анатолій Петрович||13 September 1962||Included in the list of politicians who actually supported the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3IzD98z). He took part in a rally near the US Embassy in Ukraine against “external governance”, which completely repeats the Russian narrative, voiced, in particular, by Vladimir Putin (https://bit.ly/3JTrzFE).|
|Valeriy Gnatenko Гнатенко Валерій Сергійович||3 February 1967||In April 2014, as the mayor of Druzhkivka in Donetsk region, he called for an illegal referendum on the status of Donbass (https://bit.ly/3pthyr0), supported and signed a petition of the Druzhkivka City Council for a referendum on the recognition of the “DPR” (https : //bit.ly/3vtb5Qt), according to available information – gave instructions to remove Ukrainian flags in the city and place symbols of terrorists from the so-called “DNR” (https://bit.ly/3prZoG2).|
|Serhiy Dunayev Дунаєв Сергій Володимирович||19 August 1973||In the spring of 2014, he spent several days in the so-called “LNR” in the premises of the State Security Service in Luhansk region in order to prevent the storming and clearing of the building from terrorists, using his status as a People’s Deputy of Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3K8iA3g). He later openly supported terrorists and called them “heroes” (https://bit.ly/3McDXlT). He promoted narratives about “external governance” in Ukraine, which are identical to the theses expressed by Russian propaganda (https://bit.ly/3CaTRsE). In 2022, after the recognition of Russia’s “independence”, the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” refrained from supporting the resolution on proposals for approval of sanctions (https://bit.ly/3C0tlSJ).|
|Yuriy Zahorodniy Загородній Юрій Іванович||7 May 1959||He is close to Viktor Medvedchuk and belongs to an informal group of deputies associated with him (https://bit.ly/3hmeSa3). In 2002-2005 he was his deputy, when Medvedchuk headed the Administration of the President of Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3tj8DJJ). He was a member of the leadership of the pro-Russian movement “Ukrainian Choice” (https://bit.ly/3pqBquW). He denied Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and repeated Russian narratives about the “internal conflict” in Donbas (https://bit.ly/3vAhqJQ). Included in the list of politicians who actually supported the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3IzD98z).|
|Oleksandr Kachnyi Качний Олександр Сталіноленович||23 October 1968||As chairman of the Kyiv Regional Council, in 2010 he assisted former President Yanukovych in illegally obtaining land for use in Sukholuchye near Mezhyhirya (https://bit.ly/3prczH0; https://bit.ly/3hxHblO). He promoted narratives about the “restoration of the USSR” and the need for Ukraine to “prepare” for it (https://bit.ly/35B9zAX). In fact, he denies Russian aggression in Donbass, refusing to directly answer questions about the presence of Russian troops in ORDLO and noting that in Donbass “some Ukrainians shoot at others” – a thesis identical to the Russian narrative of “civil war in Ukraine” (https: // bit .ly / 3ptJHho).|
|Illia Kyva Кива Ілля Володимирович||2 June 1977р.||After the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he acquitted him and shifted responsibility to the West, as well as spread misinformation about the existence of “Nazism” in Ukraine, demanded the “liberation” of Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3tiP5oL; https: // bit .ly / 342H52B). Doubts the territorial integrity of Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3vtq9Oe). After the start of full-scale Russian aggression, he spoke in support of Russia’s war against Ukraine on Russian state television.|
|Natalia Korolevska Королевська Наталія Юріївна||18 May 1975||According to available information,she is cooperating with Russian special services, in particular, to prepare for a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 (https://bit.ly/3Ixj4Qo). There us information about her involvement in the financing of terrorists with the so-called “LPR” (https://bit.ly/3sx7Sh6). Korolevskaya’s brother was a deputy minister in the Russian government (https://bit.ly/3suQ6L7) and now does business in the temporarily occupied Crimea with relatives of Sergei Glazyev, who is under EU and US sanctions (https://bbc.in/35HgdFG ). In 2012-2014 she was a minister in the government of Mykola Azarov (https://bit.ly/3HxbZxQ). She also promoted narratives about “external governance” identical to Russian propaganda (https://bit.ly/3Hr3c0t). Companies connected with Korolevska exported goods from the territories controlled by Ukraine to “LPR”-”DPR” ”through illegal schemes, which would have been impossible without agreements with representatives of the Russian Federation or terrorist associations operating in “LPR”-”DPR”(https://bit.ly/3vy2Q5B) . Probably conducted business in the temporarily occupied territories (https://bit.ly/3IEziXP).|
|Renat Kuzmin Кузьмін Ренат Равелійович||12 July 1967||In February 2022, he actually threatened with Russian aggression to Ukraine and the political leadership of the state (https://bit.ly/35jZ45b), previously threatening to “terminate the existence of Ukraine” under the current political leadership (https://bit.ly/3Hs5psy) . He systematically disseminated anti-Western rhetoric on Medvedchuk-related TV channels (https://bit.ly/3K2U2Je). According to the Russian Novaya Gazeta, he has Russian citizenship (https://bit.ly/3K3Mjug). As Deputy Prosecutor General during Yanukovych’s presidency in Ukraine, he participated in and justified the politically motivated persecution of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuruy Lutsenko (https://bit.ly/36PCG4b; https://bit.ly/3ssQfPn). human rights violations and the political nature of persecution in both trials were established by the ECtHR: https://bit.ly/3BXUplr; https://bit.ly/35xS7NK. He traveled to Russia after the beginning of the aggression and was a participant in separate talks between representatives of the OPZH and the Russian authorities, in particular, with the Speaker of the State Duma Volodin (https://bit.ly/3spxQD6)|
|Vasyl Nimchenko Німченко Василь Іванович||13 September 1950||He is close to Viktor Medvedchuk and is part of an informal group of deputies associated with him (https://bit.ly/3hmeSa3). Systematically disseminated anti-Western narratives (https://bit.ly/3K2U2Je), including on “external management” in Ukraine. In 2022, after the recognition of Russia’s “independence”, the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” refrained from supporting the resolution on proposals for approval of sanctions (https://bit.ly/3C0tlSJ).|
|Mykhailo Papiev Папієв Михайло Миколайович||1 October 1960||He is a close associate of Dmitry Firtash – an oligarch associated with the Russian government and organized crime (https://bit.ly/3vtLYx2). He headed the Chernivtsi Regional State Administration during Yanukovych’s presidency (https://bit.ly/3purIrp).|
|Tetiana Plachkova Плачкова Тетяна Михайлівна||5 January 1983||She traveled to Russia after the beginning of the aggression and was a participant in separate talks between representatives of the OPZZH and the Russian authorities, in particular, with the speaker of the State Duma Volodin (https://bit.ly/3spxQD6). She promoted narratives about “external governance” in Ukraine, which are identical to the theses expressed by Russian propaganda (https://bit.ly/3M8mZFv).|
|Oleksandr Ponomariov Пономарьов Олександр Сергійович||7 January 1962||He has Russian citizenship (https://bit.ly/3HmUgJf). “Agrinol”, a company affiliated with Ponomarev, supplied low-quality oils for armored vehicles to the Armed Forces, which caused the failure of about 20 tank engines; According to the investigation conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine, the employees of the Ministry of Defense who made the relevant purchases probably received illegal benefits from “Agrinol” and “acted by prior agreement with representatives of intelligence servicesof the Russian Federation” (https://bit.ly/3JSyZsK ).|
|Vadym Rabinovych Рабінович Вадим Зіновійович||4 August 1953||He repeatedly traveled to Russia after the aggression, and was a participant in separate talks between representatives of the OPZZH and the Russian authorities, in particular, with the Speaker of the State Duma Volodin (https://bit.ly/3spxQD6) and the then Prime Minister, leader of ” United Russia “Medvedev” (https://bit.ly/3hmPeSq); at the same time, the authorities of Ukraine did not give their consent and did not authorize them to hold any negotiations. Systematically disseminates theses that are identical in content to those voiced by Russia and its political leadership (in particular, Vladimir Putin) regarding Ukraine’s stay under “external control” (https://bit.ly/3vjUkr0; https://bit.ly/3K2U2Je).|
|Yuriy Solod Солод Юрій Васильович||27 April 1972||Husband of Natalia Korolevska. Companies connected with Korolevska and Solod exported goods from the territories controlled by Ukraine to “LNR”-”DNR” through illegal schemes, which would have been impossible without agreements with representatives of the Russian Federation or terrorist associations operating in “LNR”-”DNR(https://bit.ly/3vy2Q5B) .|
|Hryhoriy Surkis Суркіс Григорій Михайлович||4 September 1949||He is close to Viktor Medvedchuk, a member of his informal parliamentary group (https://bit.ly/3hmeSa3). He is also an ally of Dmitry Firtash, an oligarch linked to the Russian government and crime (https://bit.ly/3vtLYx2). After the beginning of the Russian aggression, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold the 2018 World Cup in Russia (https://bit.ly/3C3E5zD).|
|Viktor Chornyi Чорний Віктор Іванович||6 April 1968||He is close to Viktor Medvedchuk, a member of his informal parliamentary group, and for a long time headed the security company that guarded Medvedchuk (https://bit.ly/3hmeSa3). In 2013, he was the head of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Choice organization, actively advocating for the failure to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, instead advocating Ukraine’s accession to the Russian-inspired Customs Union (https://bit.ly/3JYW50T). Distributed anti-Western narratives (https://bit.ly/3K2U2Je). He took part in a rally near the US Embassy in Ukraine against “external governance”, which completely repeats the Russian narrative, voiced, in particular, by Vladimir Putin (https://bit.ly/3JTrzFE).|
|Nestor Shufrych Шуфрич Нестор Іванович||29 December 1966||He is close to Viktor Medvedchuk, a member of his informal parliamentary group (https://bit.ly/3hmeSa3). Included in the list of politicians who actually supported the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine (https://bit.ly/3IzD98z). At the same time, after the start of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine, he called on civilians not to leave apartments and houses, because he “almost excludes” attacks on housing estates and places of concentration of civilians (https://bit.ly/3svmuh0), which was eventually refuted and Russians massively struck at civilian targets. Was arrested in Kyiv by the Territorial Defense forces for taking pictures of locations of the Ukrainian Army troops.|