Zelensky puts Putin’s grievances in the mouth against the Ukrainian oligarch
Volodymyr Zelensky has resigned from his post as President of Ukraine to avoid angering Moscow. But one thing has angered the Kremlin: Kyiv’s actions against Viktor Medvedchuk, a Russian oligarch and a politician who made Russian President Vladimir Putin a god of their daughter.
In February, the Ukrainian government placed Medvedchuk on its own a list of sanctions, shut down his fortune and shut down three television stations in the wake of his propaganda.
Zelensky’s move against the businessman, showing his frustration with a unlimited peace plan what has failed to end the war in eastern Ukraine, is probably what caused Russia saber vibration and boosting the military on the Ukrainian border last month, experts said.
Undeterred, Ukrainian lawyers last week searched for Medvedchuk to build on a charge of sedition. On Friday, Putin responded that Moscow would respond “quickly and effectively, taking into account all the threats we have faced”. Ukraine, he added, “is slowly changing but against Russia, some anti-Russia”.
Zelensky has been pressured by Biden officials to assassinate the Ukrainian oligarchs and fight corruption.
Medvedchuk, 66, a former President in the early 2000s, practiced his fortune as a lawyer before setting up a bank and power. He was used by his entourage Zelensky as a way to return to Moscow and took part in talks in Minsk aimed at ending the war between Ukrainian and Russian troops backed by the Russian-backed Donbas region.
But he has recently been seen as the leadership of western Ukraine as the voice of the Kremlin, sending his ideas through his fellow TV and through his leadership of the Opposition Platform – For Life, Russia’s largest opposition party, which opposes future integration of Russia. the country to Nato and the EU.
“Medvedchuk is not only an oligarch but also a key figure in the Kremlin in Ukraine for many years,” Zelensky’s adviser said, describing the war as part of an attempt to overthrow the oligarch’s political and economic coup.
“This makes him a threat to Ukraine’s national security,” he added.
The businessman was not immediately available for comment.
Medvedchuk reiterated Moscow’s call for an end to the Donbas conflict, and called on Ukraine to hold direct talks with Russian-led leaders and give them the independence that would give them the right to vote in the EU-Nato alliance.
“That’s Putin’s wealth in Ukraine,” said Orysia Lutsevych, head of the Ukraine Forum at Chatham House in London. He is “like a magnet for all Russia’s rival factions, in the spirit of celebrating Russia”.
Prior to its removal, the TV stations under its control had broadcast for years “almost all Russian television channels”, according to Natalia Ligachova, editor of Detector Media, Kyiv’s press manager.
“Putin is portrayed as a hero, Russia is a friendly country in which we need to be friendly, our enemy is the West, the Ukrainian and the Fascists and… This is not a real nation.”
Through his headlines or through the monologue of Medvedchuk himself, the experiment had propagated the idea that “Russia does not attack Ukraine, that Ukraine has invaded itself and is guilty, this is a civil war”, Ligachova said.
Medvedchuk repeatedly denied having 112 channels, NewsOne and Zik. It was Taras Kozak, a friend of Medvedchuk and his Russian counterpart who was also indicted last week. Ukrainian officials said they were in Russia. Medvedchuk said Kozak is in Belarus.
Speaking in a court hearing on Thursday that ordered his detention, Medvedchuk – who has been detained by the US since 2014 for undermining Ukraine and its territories – has denied the allegations and described the charges as a “political crime”.
Zelensky’s supervisors and independent experts have testified that the Kremlin actually paid for media coverage and political events of Medvedchuk and its allies by giving them the opportunity to do big business in Russia.
The case is being investigated, but Ukraine’s state prosecutor and state security chief said Medvedchuk and Kozak are now charged with sedition involving two separate factions. This includes allegedly transmitting information to Russia about the war, as well as the involvement of Russian officials in the hydrocarbon trade along the Crimean coast.
“Zelensky’s war against Medvedchuk is against Putin,” said Hanna Hopko, head of the Ants, a Kyiv patriotic group.
Meanwhile the oligarch has used politics to thwart Zelenksy’s transformation. The president has been struggling to change well-known courts most of their judges were elected under the leadership of Viktor Yanukovich, a former pro-Russian president who fled Russia after being ousted by democratic change in 2014.
In a bid to stamp out Kyiv and western fighters and spend $ 5bn to save the IMF, lawmakers allied with Medvedchuk last year have filed a lawsuit against the Ukrainian court that has not changed to form anti-corruption organizations soon. Fearing that the court would suspend the sale of land and other resources to provide assistance in the West, Zelensky removed the chief justice while authorities investigated.
Mykhailo Pogrebinsky, a political analyst who calls himself Medvedchuk’s “partner”, said Zelensky acted as a “fraud” by downgrading journalists and trying to undermine the party’s 3.5m-supported party leader in the 2019 elections.
The increase in presidential votes in recent months is said to be “” eliminating Russian proxies in Ukraine is a great help to the Ukrainian people “, Lutsevych said.
“It’s amazing that after being defeated by Crimea and in the east, Medvedchuk was still able to work long hours and strengthen his interest,” he added.