This article presents the historical development and role of political parties in Ukrainian politics, and outlines more extensively the significant modern political parties since Ukraine gained independence in 1991.


Ukraine has a multi-party system with numerous political parties, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments. In the (October 2014) Ukrainian parliamentary election 52 political parties nominated candidates.[1] In the nationwide (October 2015) local elections this number had grown to 132 political parties.[2]

Many parties in Ukraine have very small memberships and are unknown to the general public.[3] Party membership in Ukraine is lower than 1% of the population eligible to vote (compared to an average 4.7% in the European Union[4]).[5][6] National parties currently not represented in Ukraine's national parliament Verkhovna Rada do have representatives in municipal councils.[7][8][9][10] Small parties used to join in multi-party coalitions (electoral blocks) for the purpose of participating in parliamentary elections, but on November 17, 2011, the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections.[11] Ukrainian society's trust of political parties is very low overall.[3][12] According to an April 2014 poll by Razumkov Centre 14.7%.[13] According to a February 2020 poll by again Razumkov Centre, more than 70% of respondents said they rather or completely did not trust political parties.[3]

The Ukrainian oligarchs play a key role in sponsoring of political parties and participation in every day politics.[14]

Legal framework

Parties can only register with the Ministry of Justice if they can "demonstrate a base of support in two-thirds of Ukraine's Oblasts" (Ukraine's 24 primary administrative units) and in two-thirds of the raions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.[15][16] This means that 10,000 signatures needs to be collected in these areas.[16] Including in Crimea, although Ukraine lost control of this territory in 2014 (to Russia).[16] (The only way to fulfill this norm is to get signatures of Ukrainian citizens living elsewhere in Ukraine with Crimean residence.[16]) Then within six months the party must establish regional offices in a majority of the 24 oblasts.[17] In practice these offices rarely stay active and open in-between elections.[17] Because of the procedural difficulties of registering a party the practice of renaming existing political forces is widespread.[16] (For instance, from January to September 2020 50 parties changed their name.[16]) In practice this means that long career politicians in Ukraine regularly switch to a new party.[16]

10 years in a row not nominating candidates for national parliamentary and presidential elections is a legal ground for liquidating a party.[3][nb 1]

Ukraine’s election law forbids outside financing of political parties or campaigns.[18]

All data on any legal political parties as any other public organizations in Ukraine is kept at the Single Registry (Ukrainian: Єдиний реєстр громадських формувань, Yedynyi reyestr hromadskykh formuvan), with online version of which provided by the Ministry of Justice.[19] On 1 January 2020 349 political parties were in this register.[3]

Major parties and political camps

There have developed two major movements[nb 2][nb 3] in the Ukrainian parliament since its independence:[22][23][24]

The first movement (mentioned above) gets its voters mainly from Western Ukraine and Central Ukraine; the latter from Eastern Ukraine and Southern Ukraine.[33]

Political camps[34]
Pro-Western, pro-NATO, pro-European, anti-Russian, and Ukrainian nationalist Domination of Russian culture and preservation of Soviet culture, latently Eurosceptic, often anti-American and partly anti-liberal Regional and local interests, city and oblast level politics Parliamentary groups, formed post-election and often with the backing of an oligarch and few shared positions among members
Servant of the People
European Solidarity
Radical Party
Strength and Honor
Ukrainian Strategy
Civil Position
Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform
Self Reliance
Democratic Axe
Opposition Platform — For Life
Our Land
Opposition Bloc
Party of Shariy
Trust the Deeds
Successful Kharkiv
All-Ukrainian Union "Cherkashchany"
Bloc Svitlychna Together!
Native City
Native Zakarpattia
Native Home
Bila Tserkva Together
For the Future


Ukrainian parties tend not to have a clear ideology but to contain different political groups with diverging ideological outlooks.[35] Unlike in Western politics, civilizational and geostrategic orientations play a more important role than economic and socio-political agendas for parties.[23] An example is the membership of the social-democratic[citation needed] Batkivshchyna party in the economically liberal European People's Party.[23] This has led to coalition governments that would be unusual from a Western point of view; for example: the first Azarov government included the Party of Regions, the centrist Lytvyn Bloc and the Communist Party of Ukraine.

Particularity of parties in Ukraine

Professor Paul D'Anieri has argued (in 2006) that Ukrainian parties are "elite-based rather than mass-based,"[36] while former Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine (2000–2006) Dietmar Stüdemann from Embassy of Germany, Kyiv believes that personalities are more important in Ukrainian politics than (ideological) platforms. "Parties in the proper meaning of this word do not exist in Ukraine so far. A party for Germans is its platform first, and its personalities later."[37]


Number of parties
Date Amount
January 2009 161[38]
July 2009 172[39]
May 2010 179[40][41]
July 2010 182[42]
September 2011 197[43]
November 2012 201[38]

Independent Ukraine, party forming (early 1990s)

Even before Ukraine became independent in August 1991, political parties in Ukraine started to form around intellectuals and former Soviet dissidents.[44][not specific enough to verify] They posed the main opposition to the ruling Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine (CP(b)U). At the first convocation of the Verkhovna Rada[when?] those parties formed the parliamentary opposition People's Council. The most noticeable parties of the parliamentary opposition included the People's Movement of Ukraine (The Movement) and the Ukrainian Republican Party. Due to the August Putsch in Moscow (19–21 August 1991), a process to prohibit communist parties in Ukraine took place. Led by Oleksandr Moroz, the parliamentary faction of the CP(b)U, Group of 239, started a process to re-form the CP(b)U into the Socialist Party of Ukraine. The restriction on the existence of communist parties in Ukraine was successfully adopted soon after the Ukrainian independence, however in the couple of years the resolution was later challenged and eventually the restriction was lifted. In 1993 in Donetsk the first congress of the reinstated Communist Party of Ukraine took place, with the Party led by Petro Symonenko.

In the hastily organized 1994 parliamentary elections the communists surprisingly achieved the highest party rating, while the main opposing party, the Movement, did not gain even a quarter of their earned[clarification needed] seats. The re-formed party of the CP(b)U, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, and its major ally, the Peasant Party of Ukraine, performed relatively strongly. About a third of the elected parliamentarians were not affiliated. The elections became a major fiasco of the Democratic forces in Ukraine. After the 1994 elections numerous independent political parties were elected to the Ukrainian parliament, leading to the formation of nine deputy groups and parliamentary factions: Communists, Socialists, Agrarians, Inter-regional Deputy Group (MDG), Unity, Center, Statehood, Reforms, and the Movement. The concept of a "situational majority" was first used during that convocation to form a parliamentary coalition. The ruling coalition in the parliament often included the Communist Party of Ukraine, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Agrarians, MDG, and Unity.

Parties for oligarchs and clans (1994–2004)

During the Kuchma presidency (1994–2004) parties started to form around politicians who had achieved power; these parties were often a vehicle of Ukrainian oligarchs.[44][not specific enough to verify] Scholars defined several "Clans" in Ukrainian politics grouped around businessmen and politicians from particular Ukrainian mayor cities; the "Donetsk Clan" (Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov), the "Dnipropetrovsk Clan" (Yulia Tymoshenko, Leonid Kuchma, Victor Pinchuk, Serhiy Tihipko and Pavlo Lazarenko), the "Kyiv Clan" (Viktor Medvedchuk and the Surkis brothers; this clan has also been linked to Zakarpattia) and the smaller "Kharkiv Clan".[45][46][47][48][49][22][50][51][52]

After the 2002 elections the Ukrainian parliament saw some consolidation of democratic political parties and the establishment of the main political camps in Ukraine: a coalition of nationally oriented deputies with the pro-European vector, a coalition of left-wing parties, and the pro-Russian parties coalition of the former Soviet nomenklatura. A major change took place during the Orange revolution when finally the two opposing political camps were established after the left-wing coalition split.

Mergers and bans (2011–present)

On 17 November 2011 the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections;[11] since then several parties have merged with other parties.[53][54][55] Strong Ukraine merged with the Party of Regions on 17 March 2012.[56] Front of Changes and former Our Ukraine Bloc and Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko members performed in the 2012 parliamentary elections under "umbrella" party Fatherland.[57][58][59][60][61] Front for Changes leader Yatsenyuk headed this election list; because Fatherland-leader Yulia Tymoshenko was imprisoned.[62][63]

On 15 June 2013 Reforms and Order Party and Front for Change merged into Fatherland.[64] A part of People’s Movement of Ukraine (including its former chairman Borys Tarasyuk[65]) also merged with Fatherland (the rest of this party had merged with Ukrainian People's Party in May 2013[66]).[67][68]

In preparation for the upcoming 2014 parliamentary elections, several ministers of the Fatherland party in the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk moved to the new party People's Front, which elected as its party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 10 September 2014.[69][70]

UDAR merged into the Petro Poroshenko Bloc on 28 August 2015[71] after in the 2014 parliamentary election, 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list had been filled by members of UDAR (as non-partisan).[30]

On 20 March 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a ban on 11 political parties for alleged ties with Russia: Opposition Platform — For Life, Party of Shariy, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Derzhava, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialists and Volodymyr Saldo Bloc.[72]

On 20 June 2024, also Our Land party was banned with the accusation of the Security Service of Ukraine of subversive activities against State, bringing to 19 the number of banned parties since the beginning of the Russian invasion.[73]

Participating parties
Election Number Threshold Winners
1998 30 4% 8
2002 33 4% 6
2006 45 3% 5
2007 20 3% 5
2012 22 5% 5
2014 29 5% 6
2019 22 5% 5

Political parties in Parliament

Seats won in parliamentary elections (since 1990, Chamber of Deputies or unicameral parliament)
Party 1990 1994 1998 2002 2006 2007 2012 2014 2019
Group of 239 (Communist Party of Ukraine, original) 239
People's Movement of Ukraine (People's Council) 125 20 46 OU OU OU
Party of Democratic Revival of Ukraine (CPU Democratic Platform) 41 4
Democratic Union (DU–DPU) DU–DPU
Democratic Party of Ukraine (DPU–PEV, DU–DPU) 19 2 2 5
Party of Economic Revival (DPU–PEV) 1 DPU–PEV
Communist Party of Ukraine 86 122 65 21 27 32
Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU–SelPU) 14 35 22 33
Peasant Party of Ukraine (SPU–SelPU) 19 SPU–SelPU 1
National Front (NF) 7
Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists 5 NF OU OU
Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party 2 NF
Ukrainian Republican Party 12 8 NF BYT
Ukrainian National Assembly 1 1
Party of Labor (PP–LPU) 4 2
Liberal Party of Ukraine (PP–LPU) PP–LPU OU
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine 2 75
Christian Democratic Party of Ukraine 1 2
Civil Congress of Ukraine (HKU–UPS) 2 1
Ukrainian Party of Justice (HKU–UPS) HKU–UPS BU
People's Democratic Party 27 Zayedu
Party of Greens of Ukraine 19
Hromada 23
Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine 17
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) 17 27
People's Party (Agrarian Party of Ukraine, Lytvyn) 7 Zayedu 20 2
Strong Ukraine 1
Reforms and Order Party (Our Ukraine) 4 OU BYT
Christian Democratic Union (CDU–UCDP) 3 OU OU OU
Ukrainian Christian Democratic Party (CDU–UCDP) CDU–UCDP
Viche 1
Party of Regions (Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine) 2 Zayedu 186 175 185
All-Ukrainian Party of Workers 1
Union 1 1
Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU–DNU) 1
State Independence of Ukraine (SNPU–DNU) SNPU–DNU
Bloc "Our Ukraine" (OU) 112 81 72
Youth Party of Ukraine OU
Solidarity OU
Forward, Ukraine! OU OU
Republican Christian Party OU
Ukrainian People's Party OU OU
For United Ukraine! (Zayedu) 121
Labour Ukraine Zayedu
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine Zayedu OU
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYT) 22 129 156
Batkivshchyna BYT BYT BYT 101 19 26
Ukrainian Platform "Sobor" BYT OU OU
Ukraine – Forward! BYT BYT BYT
Party of National Economic Development of Ukraine 1
Ukrainian Marine Party 1
Unity Bloc (BU) 4
Unity BU
Young Ukraine BU
Social Democratic Union BU
Our Ukraine OU OU
European Party of Ukraine OU
Pora! OU
Motherland Defenders Party OU
Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (European Capital) 40
United Centre (Party of Private Property) 3 1
Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko (URDP) 1 22
Freedom 1 1 37 6 1
People's Front 82
European Solidarity 132 25
Self Reliance 33 1
Opposition Bloc 29 6
Spade (People's Initiative) 1
Will 1
Right Sector 1
Servant of the People 254
Opposition Platform — For Life 43
Voice 20
Independent 6 168 105 66 43 96 46

See also


  1. ^ Civil movement "Chesno" claims that 25 parties took part in a 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election by-election (in electoral district 179 located in Kharkiv Oblast on 15 March 2020) solely to avoid being liquidated.[3]
  2. ^ Some Ukrainian parties could not be clearly classified as belonging to one of these two major movements, they were either synthesising the ideas of the two camps and/or strove to position themselves as a balancing force; examples of these parties are Socialist Party of Ukraine, Lytvyn Bloc and Labour Ukraine.[20]
  3. ^ Ukrainian politicians have switched to parties that belong(ed) to another of these two major movements.[21]


  1. ^ Basic electoral statistics 2014 extraordinary parliamentary election Archived October 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  2. ^ Reform Watch - Oct. 1, 2015, Kyiv Post (Oct. 2, 2015)
    Rhinos, dill and hidden threats confuse voters in Kyiv, Kyiv Post (Oct. 2, 2015)
  3. ^ a b c d e f (in Ukrainian) Non-partisan Ukraine, The Ukrainian Week (24 June 2020)
  4. ^ Research Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, European Union Democracy Observatory
  5. ^ Ukraine: Comprehensive Partnership for a Real Democracy, Center for International Private Enterprise, 2010
  6. ^ Poll: Ukrainians unhappy with domestic economic situation, their own lives, Kyiv Post (September 12, 2011)
  7. ^ (in Ukrainian) Сергій Одарич формуватиме більшість у міськраді Черкас Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Cherkasy city council website (November 8, 2010)
  8. ^ (in Ukrainian) Мером Львова обрано Андрія Садового Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, ЛьвівNEWS (November , 2010)
  9. ^ (in Ukrainian) На виборах мера Полтави переміг Олександр Мамай Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Дзеркало тижня (November 6, 2010)
  10. ^ (in Ukrainian) Официальные результаты голосования по выборам в Севастопольский городской совет Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, SevNews (November 5, 2010)
  11. ^ a b Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (November 17, 2011)
  12. ^ Opinion poll: Do you trust political parties? Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (recurrent, 2001–2009, by Razumkov Centre)
  13. ^ (in Ukrainian) Ukrainians believe the church, the army and the Ukrainian media, Ukrayinska Pravda (19 May 2014)
  14. ^ Ukraine’s oligarchs jostle for influence with President Zelensky, Financial Times (19 February 2020)
  15. ^ "Link to a pdf-file". ((cite web)): Missing or empty |url= (help)Link to a pdf-file INTERIM REPORT 2015 Ukrainian local elections, OSCE (9 October 2015)
  16. ^ a b c d e f g This year, 12 new parties have been created. 50 changed their names, Civil movement "Chesno" (13 October 2020) (in Ukrainian)
  17. ^ a b Ukraine's Local Elections: New law, old problems Archived October 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine by Melanie Mierzejewski-Voznyak, New Eastern Europe (22 October 2015)
  18. ^ Hacked PR documents accelerate political war, Kyiv Post (11 January 2013)
  19. ^ The register can be found online at
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  22. ^ a b Communist and Post-Communist Parties in Europe by Uwe Backes and Patrick Moreau, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-36912-8 (page 383 and 396)
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  24. ^ Pro-Russian bloc leads in Ukraine, BBC News (March 26, 2006)
  25. ^ Nations and Nationalism: A Global Historical Overview, ABC-CLIO, 2008, ISBN 1851099077 (page 1629)
    [ 9n3ttj8uhtjuyjmn huh43g5 gtgjrgutihwerthrbgth5erghbthe boy gruh4rlthihwesrjgjn gjcjhkhjhkrgjkht.kjthkhnbhkrybjniolvctukch i porn hude lia+Tymoshenko&pg=PA122 Ukraine on its Meandering Path Between East and West] by Andrej Lushnycky and Mykola Riabchuk, Peter Lang, 2009, ISBN 303911607X (page 122)
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    UDAR submits to Rada resolution on Ukraine’s integration with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (8 January 2013)
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    Klitschko: I lead my team to Parliament, UDAR official website (14.09.2014)
    Deadline for nomination of candidates running in early election to Rada expires, ITAR-TASS (September 15, 2014)
  31. ^ Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament Archived November 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian Television and Radio (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC Archived November 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  32. ^ (in Ukrainian) "Revival" "our land": Who picks up the legacy of "regionals", BBC Ukrainian (16 September 2015)
    (in Ukrainian) Party of Regions: Snake return, The Ukrainian Week (2 October 2015)
  33. ^ 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 Archived May 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine by Taras Kuzio, Oxford Analytica (5 October 2007)
  34. ^ Partisan-political structure Archived November 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Analitik. 1999
  35. ^ Against All Odds:Aiding Political Parties in Georgia and Ukraine by Max Bader, Vossiuspers UvA, 2010, ISBN 978-90-5629-631-5 (page 82)
  36. ^ Understanding Ukrainian Politics:Power, Politics, And Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M. E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5 (page 189)
  37. ^ Former German Ambassador Studemann views superiority of personality factor as fundamental defect of Ukrainian politics, Kyiv Post (December 21, 2009)
  38. ^ a b Official databases of political parties in Ukraine Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian Ministry of Justice
  39. ^ Three new political parties registered in Ukraine, 172 in total, says Justice Ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (July 15, 2009)
  40. ^ Justice Ministry registers 179th party in Ukraine – For Fairness and Prosperity, Kyiv Post (May 14, 2010)
  41. ^ Justice Ministry registers Your Ukraine Party, Kyiv Post (May 5, 2010)
  42. ^ Youth into Power party registered, Kyiv Post (July 2, 2010)
  43. ^ Lavrynovych: Court cancels registration certificates of five Ukrainian parties, Kyiv Post (November 29, 2011)
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  48. ^ How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy by Anders Åslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2009, ISBN 978-0-88132-427-3
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  50. ^ The Crisis of Russian Democracy:The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession by Richard Sakwa, Cambridge University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-14522-0 (page 110)
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  53. ^ (in Ukrainian) "Наша Україна" й УНП почали об’єднання з Дніпропетровська, Ukrayinska Pravda (December 18, 2011)
  54. ^ Tymoshenko, Lutsenko aware of their parties' unification, Kyiv Post (December 29, 2011)
  55. ^ (in Ukrainian) Одна з партій НУНС перейменувалася та змінила голову, Ukrayinska Pravda (December 3, 2011)
  56. ^ Tigipko hooks up with Party of Regions, Kyiv Post (March 20, 2012)
    Strong Ukraine party decides on disbanding to join Regions Party, Kyiv Post (March 17, 2012)
  57. ^ (in Ukrainian) Соціально-християнська партія вирішила приєднатися до об'єднаної опозиції, Den (newspaper) (24 April 2012)
  58. ^ Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
    (in Ukrainian) "ФРОНТ ЗМІН" ІДЕ В РАДУ З "БАТЬКІВЩИНОЮ", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 April 2012)
    Yatseniuk wants to meet with Tymoshenko to discuss reunion of opposition, Kyiv Post (7 April 2012)
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    Front for Change, Reforms and Order to dissolve for merger with Batkivshchyna - Sobolev, Ukrinform (11 June 2013))
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  68. ^ Tymoshenko re-elected Batkivshchyna leader, Yatseniuk council chair, Ukrinform (15 June 2013)
  69. ^ Yatseniuk heads People's Front Party, Ukrinform (10 September 2014)
    Jatzenjuk an die Spitze der Partei „Volksfront“ gestellt, Ukrinform (10 September 2014)
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