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Russia, EU Politicians Denounce Ukraine Parliament's Ouster of Communists

Leader of the Russian Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov.

Russia's Communist Party and European leftist parliamentary groups have denounced the ousting of the Ukrainian Communist party from the country's parliament as a breach of free speech.

Leader of the Russian Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, called the ban, set to go into effect on Thursday, the latest attempt to "massacre" the party of his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Symonenko.

"Attempts to muzzle them and do away with them are evidence of the cowardice and hideousness of those who are doing this," Zyuganov told state-run Rossiya 24 television channel on Wednesday.

Ukrainian parliament voted to oust the party after Symonenko on Wednesday accused his country's security services of having "destroyed" Ukrainian citizen to harvest their organs on the black market, Interfax reported, citing members of the nationalist Svoboda Party.

European coalition United Left/Nordic Green Left, or GUE/NGL, appealed to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko not to sign the bill on the dissolution of the Communist party and to "safeguard the Communist Party of Ukraine's parliamentary statute and resulting immunity," according to the group's online statement published Wednesday.

"All parties and organizations which criticize the government must be free to act without restrictions and intimidations," the statement added.

Calls for disbanding Ukraine's Communist Party began after Symonenko said this spring that if he were in charge of the country, he would immediately bring back troops from eastern Ukraine, referring to the military operations taking place there as acts of "war against the people," RIA Novosti reported.

Communist lawmakers were booted from a closed-door parliamentary session in early May, after lawmakers from other factions reportedly accused them of separatism.

See also:

Communist Party Ousted From Ukraine Parliament

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