Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

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Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine
Ukrainian nameПрогресивна соціалістична партія України
Russian nameПрогрессивная социалистическая партия Украины
LeaderNataliya Vitrenko
Founded1996 (1996)
Banned20 March 2022 (2022-03-20)[1]
27 September 2022 (2022-09-27) (final appeal in court dismissed)
Split fromSocialist Party of Ukraine
Youth wingYoung Guard of the PSPU
Political positionFar-left[6][7]
National affiliationLeft Opposition
International affiliation
ColorsRed and blue
Party flag
Website (archived)

The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU)[a] is a banned,[9] pro-Russian political party in Ukraine led by Nataliya Vitrenko. The party was represented in Ukraine's national parliament between 1998 and 2002. The party is considered neo-communist and wants to restore state ownership of industry and workers' democracy in Ukraine.[10] Due to ideological ties to Dugin, it has also been described by some observers as being National Bolshevik.[11][12]

The Progressive Socialist Party was described to have a "clearly leftist" platform.[13] Its campaign slogan was "We shall build a Soviet and Socialist Ukraine!". The party was considered Russophile, and campaigned for a "strategic partnership" of Ukraine with Russia and Belarus, while strongly rejecting the prospect of cooperating with either the European Union or NATO. The party was least popular in Western regions, but it had considerable support in South Ukraine.[13]


The party was created by Nataliya Vitrenko, a then dissident member of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) in April 1996.[14] She led a group of more radical SPU members who opposed what they regarded as revisionist tendencies in the Socialist Party. In October 1995 they had left that party.[14]

The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is a party that supports the Eurasian Economic Union as an alternative to the EU and uses left-wing rhetoric. PSPU traditionally campaigns on an anti-NATO, anti-IMF and pro-Russian platform. During the 1998 parliamentary elections the party won 4.04% of the vote and 16 seats.[15][16] The party's candidate for the 1999 presidential elections, Nataliya Vitrenko, came 4th, with 10.97% of the vote in the first round.[17]

The party's parliamentary faction was dissolved in February 2000.[18]

At the legislative elections on 30 March 2002, the party established the Nataliya Vitrenko Bloc alliance, including the Party of Educators of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Партія Освітян України).[19] It won 3.22%[15] of the votes, little short of passing the 4% threshold needed to enter the Verkhovna Rada.[20] PSPU was a vocal opponent of President Leonid Kuchma but supported Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian prime minister since 2002, during the 2004 elections. After the Orange Revolution of 2004, the party joined the opposition to new president Viktor Yushchenko in a coalition with the "Derzhava" (State) party led by former Ukrainian prosecutor Gennady Vasilyev. In the March 2006 parliamentary elections, the party again failed to gain any seats in Parliament, participating as People's Opposition Bloc of Natalia Vitrenko winning 2,93%.[15] At the 2007 parliamentary elections the party failed once more to enter the parliament, its result dropped to 1,32%.[15]

In the run-up to the 2010 presidential election the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine refused to join the Bloc of Left and Center-left Forces[21] since it did not want to be in the same election bloc as the Socialist Party of Ukraine.[22] Instead the party tried to nominate Natalia Vitrenko again as their candidate in that election[23] but the Central Election Commission of Ukraine refused to register her for failure to pay the required 2.5 million hryvnya nomination deposit.[24] Eventually the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine supported Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych in the runoff of the 2010 presidential election.[25]

During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections, the party only won three representatives in the Sevastopol municipality.[26]

The party did not participate in the 2012 parliamentary elections.[27]

In 2011, the PSPU decided to join the People's Front for Russia.[28]

The party did not participate in the 2014 parliamentary elections.[29]

The party took part in the October 2015 Ukrainian local elections as part of the umbrella party Left Opposition.[30]

In the 2020 local elections the party did not nominate candidates for deputies at all except for a candidate for mayor of Romny.[31]

On 20 March 2022, the PSPU was one of several political parties suspended by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with Derzhava, Left Opposition, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Opposition Platform — For Life, Party of Shariy, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Union of Left Forces, and the Volodymyr Saldo Block.[32]

In June 2022 various court proceedings tried to ban the parties suspended on 20 March 2022.[33][34] The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine was one of two parties that actively opposed its banning.[33][34] (The other party was Opposition Platform — For Life.[34]) On 27 September 2022, the final appeal against the party's ban was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Ukraine, meaning that the party was fully banned in Ukraine.[9]

Election results[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Presidency of Ukraine
Election year Candidate First round Second round
No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
1999 Nataliya Vitrenko 2,886,972 10.97
2004 Nataliya Vitrenko 429,794 1.53

Rada electoral results[edit]

Verkhovna Rada
(year links to election page)
Year Votes % Seats

Rada Election results maps[edit]


The party favored Ukraine's full-scale entry in the Eurasian Economic Community (including its Customs Union); the protection of the non-aligned status of Ukraine; abolition of NATO exercises in Ukraine; asserting the Russian language status as an official language beside Ukrainian; the annulment of former President Viktor Yushchenko's decrees on awarding the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych.[25]

The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is considered a neo-communist party, defined as an East European socialist party that distances itself from reformist post-communist parties. The party supports the economic and social principles of communism while criticising the capitalist transition, post-Soviet democratisation and European integration.[35]

PSPU considers the economic transformation of Ukraine into a capitalist economy to be a social regression. The party calls for state ownership of the means of production and an economy based on social justice, described as the elimination of unemployment and the distribution of material goods to their direct creators. The party also calls for "a society in which the free development of each is a condition for the free development of all, committing itself to establishing workers' democracy in enterprises, guaranteeing state ownership of basic industries and halting the privatisation process and halting the decline of kolkhozes and sovkhozes".[10]

The party has close ties with the Eurasian Youth Union and its leader Aleksandr Dugin. [36]


  1. ^
    • Ukrainian: Прогресивна соціалістична партія України, romanizedProhresyvna sotsialistychna partiya Ukrayiny
    • Russian: Прогрессивная социалистическая партия Украины, romanizedProgressivnaya sotsialisticheskaya partiya Ukrainy


  1. ^ "Ukraine's Defense Council stopped activity of several political parties: Zelenskyy".
  2. ^ Программа Прогрессивной социалистической партии Украины 15/09/2001
  3. ^ Географические закономерности электорального транзита в посткоммунистических странах by Rostislav Turovsky
  4. ^ "South-Eastern Ukraine: Extremism and the Anti-Maidan | UCL SSEES Research Blog".
  5. ^ a b Tatiana (15 April 2014). Borderlands into Bordered Lands: Geopolitics of Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine. ISBN 9783838260426.
  6. ^ Andrzej Antoszewski [in Polish] (2005). Partie polityczne Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej (in Polish). Poznań-Wrocław: Wyższa Szkoła Zarządzania i Bankowości w Poznaniu. p. 179. ISBN 83-88544-63-2. Ekstremizm lewicowy reprezentowany jest w Europie Wschodniej głównie przez partie neokomunistyczne, odróżniające się i najczęściej dystansujące się od zreformowanych ugrupowań postkomunistycznych. W Czechach, Rosji, na Słowacji i Ukrainie istnieją formacje opowiadające się za pryncypiami ekonomicznymi i społecznymi komunizmu (przy werbalnym odcięciu się od niektórych błędów przeszłości), kładące akcent na krytykę kapitalistycznego modelu rozwoju, przyjętego po 1989 r., negatywną ocenę procesu politycznej, gospodarczej i militarnej integracji Europy oraz protestujące przeciwko globalizacji. Zaliczymy do nich przede wszystkim: Komunistyczną Partię Federacji Rosyjskiej (KPRF), Komunistyczną Partię Ukrainy (KPU) i Socjalistyczną Partię Ukrainy (SPU), Komunistyczną Partię Czech i Moraw, Komunistyczną Partię Słowacji (KSĆM), Łotewską Partię Socjalistyczną (LSP), Serbską Partię Socjalistyczną oraz ukraińską Progresywną Partię Socjalistyczną (SPS). [Left-wing extremism is represented in Eastern Europe mainly by neo-communist parties, differentiating themselves and most often distancing themselves from reformist post-communist groupings. In the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine, there are formations advocating the economic and social principles of communism (while verbally distancing themselves from some of the errors of the past), emphasising criticism of the capitalist development model adopted after 1989, negatively assessing the process of political, economic and military integration of Europe and protesting against globalisation. These include, above all: Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) and Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU), Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, Communist Party of Slovakia (KSĆM), Latvian Socialist Party (LSP), Serbian Socialist Party and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPS).]
  7. ^ Ryszard Herbut [in Polish]; Andrzej Antoszewski [in Polish] (2007). Systemy polityczne współczesnej Europy (in Polish). Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. p. 102. ISBN 978-83-011-4622-1. W niektórych elekcjach wzięły udział także inne partie, które mogą być określone mianem skrajnej lewicy. Mamy tu na myśli Związek Robotników Słowacji (ZRS), ukraińską Progresywną Partię Socjalistyczną (SPS) oraz polską Samoobronę. [Other parties that can be described as extreme left also took part in some elections. We are referring to the Union of Workers of Slovakia (ZRS), the Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party (SPS) and the Polish Self-Defence.]
  8. ^ Romanian, Russian fascists ally against Ukraine, Moldova, Kyiv Post (10 August 2009)
  9. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) The Supreme Court finally banned Natalia Vitrenko's party, Chesno (27 September 2022)
  10. ^ a b Andrzej Antoszewski [in Polish] (2005). Partie polityczne Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej (in Polish). Poznań-Wrocław: Wyższa Szkoła Zarządzania i Bankowości w Poznaniu. pp. 179–180. ISBN 83-88544-63-2.
  11. ^ Kuzio, Taras (23 June 2015). Ukraine: Democratization, Corruption, and the New Russian Imperialism: Democratization, Corruption, and the New Russian Imperialism. p. 111. ISBN 9781440835032.
  12. ^ Haran, Olexiy; Zimmer, Kerstin (2008). "Unfriendly takeover: Successor parties in Ukraine". Communist and Post-Communist Studies. 41 (4): 548. doi:10.1016/j.postcomstud.2008.09.002.
  13. ^ a b Anna Makhorkina (June 2005). "Ukrainian political parties and foreign policy in election campaigns: Parliamentary elections of 1998 and 2002". Communist and Post-Communist Studies. Elsevier Ltd. 38 (2): 251–267. doi:10.1016/j.postcomstud.2005.03.005.
  15. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) Прогресивна соціалістична партія України, Databases ASD
  16. ^ Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M.E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5, page 161
  17. ^ Election watch Ukraine (Presidential), CNN (2003)
  18. ^ State-Building: A Comparative Study of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia by Verena Fritz, Central European University Press, 2008, ISBN 9637326995 (page 353)
  19. ^ (in Ukrainian) Партія "Єдина Україна", Databases ASD
  20. ^ Ukraine at the Crossroads: Economic Reforms in International Perspective by Axel Siedenberg (Editor), Lutz Hoffmann, Physica-Verlag Heidelberg, 1999, ISBN 3790811890/ISBN 978-3790811896 (page 184)
  21. ^ Communists say leftist bloc will call for referendum on NATO and Russian language status, Kyiv Post (24 September 2009)
  22. ^ (in Ukrainian) Лівий блок як спосіб втриматися у великій політиці, BBC World Service (18 August 2009)
  23. ^ CEC registers two more candidates for Ukraine's president, Interfax-Ukraine (6 November 2009)
  24. ^ (in Russian) Украина обречена либо на распад, либо на революцию. Для украинской власти Конституция Украины – туалетная бумажка. Заявление Лидера ПСПУ Наталии Витренко, Official website of Natalia Vitrenko (11 November 2009)
  25. ^ a b Progressive Socialists reelect Vitrenko as party leader, Kyiv Post (27 June 2010)
  26. ^ (in Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (8 November 2010)
  27. ^ (in Ukrainian) Results of voting in single constituencies in 2012 & Nationwide list, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  28. ^ "Прогрессивная социалистическая партия Украины присоединилась к". ИА REGNUM.
  29. ^ Alphabetical Index of parties in 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  30. ^ (in Russian) The communists go to the polls in the "Left Opposition" - the leader of the Communist Party, RIA Novosti Ukraine (13 August 2015)
    Five Ukrainian parties, 13 NGOs unite into Left Opposition, Interfax-Ukraine (15 June 2015)
  31. ^ (in Ukrainian) Why did the Supreme Court ban Vitrenko's party?, Chesno (29 September 2022)
  32. ^ "NSDC bans pro-Russian parties in Ukraine". Ukrinform. 20 March 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  33. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) The court banned the activities of the parties "Bloc of Volodymyr Saldo" and "Derzhava" - Chesno, [uk] (14 June 2022)
  34. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) The court banned OPZZh, Ukrayinska Pravda (20 June 2022)
  35. ^ Ryszard Herbut [in Polish]; Andrzej Antoszewski [in Polish] (2007). Systemy polityczne współczesnej Europy (in Polish). Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-83-011-4622-1.
  36. ^ Haran, Olexiy; Zimmer, Kerstin (2008). "Unfriendly takeover: Successor parties in Ukraine". Communist and Post-Communist Studies. 41 (4): 548. doi:10.1016/j.postcomstud.2008.09.002.

External links[edit]