Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued a warrant for Petro Symonenko, leader of the banned Communist Party of Ukraine, declaring him missing since Aug. 19, 2023, on the ministry’s official website.
Symonenko fled to Russia with the assistance of Russian special forces during the occupation of Kyiv Oblast, said Ukraine’s SBU security service.
As Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Symonenko, known for supporting Russian aggression, sought "evacuation" from the Russian leadership, the SBU reported on Aug. 11.
The Kremlin ordered a special forces unit to escort him and his family out of the occupied town of Berezivka in the Makariv district of Kyiv Oblast. Following the arrival of Russian forces, Symonenko personally welcomed them and accommodated them in his own house.
The Russian special unit "accompanied" Symonenko and his family through Russian checkpoints to Belarus in March, 2022. He then relocated to Russia, where he assumed the role of deputy head of the Central Committee of the International Communist Union "Union of Communist Parties — Communist Party of the Soviet Union."
This pro-Kremlin organization operates under the control of the Russian Communist Party, led by State Duma deputy Gennady Zyuganov, the SBU said.
Symonenko, under Zyuganov's direction, initiated a public campaign supporting Moscow's aggressive policy even before the start of the full-scale war against Ukraine.
Participating in the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Havana, Cuba, in October 2022, Symonenko attempted to legitimize the seizure of part of Ukraine's territory and the activities of the so-called "L/DNR."
He also attended an "antifascist forum" in Minsk in April 2023, advocating for the continuation of Russia's war against Ukraine and justifying Kremlin narratives regarding the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Symonenko is accused of making public calls to overthrow the constitutional order and of justifying Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine since 2014.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council decided in March 2022 to halt any activities of political forces associated with Russia during martial law. The parliament banned the activities of pro-Russian parties in Ukraine on May 3, 2022. A few months later, the Eighth Administrative Appeals Court definitively prohibited the Communist Party of Ukraine's activities.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine