#Commentary of Oleg Onopko on deprivation of Verkhovna Rada deputies of immunity

Having called off immunity, the President of Ukraine will be able to set up pressure and even prosecution of his political opponents. This was stated by the deputy of the DPR People’s Council, Oleg Onopko, in an interview with the Donetsk News Agency.

“On the one hand, the cancelling of immunity is an image-building move designed to increase the popularity of Vladimir Zelensky and his party; to declare them as politicians who allegedly fulfil their election promises. On the other hand, this is a political decision aimed at gain total control over deputies of the largest faction in the history of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Now even those elected by the first-past-the-post system, who are always very willful and changeable in their preferences, will be forced to act more cautiously – in the direction set by the president’s office. Earlier, deputies were easily “bought” to achieve situational goals, but now moving away from the “party line” can face a threat of criminal cases,” the deputy said.

The parliamentarian added that with the adoption of this decision, the president of Ukraine had acquired an additional source of influence on the actions of the Rada.

“Having cancelled immunity, the President of Ukraine will be able to set up pressure and even prosecution of his political opponents. And although it can be assumed that among them there would be war criminals whose victims were the people of Donbass, such a development of events seems unlikely. In fact, Zelensky now has an additional tool that allows him to create a cult of a leader in Ukraine,” Oleg Onopko concluded.

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