President Volodymyr Zelenskiy dangers additional escalation with Russia after Ukrainian authorities accused a Ukrainian oligarch and an in depth good friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin of treason.
The beginning of the authorized assault on Viktor Medvedchuk in February was stated to have been one of many triggers for the Moscow mass. largest concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian borderr for the reason that begin of the separatist battle in japanese Ukraine in 2014.
Mr Medvedchuk, who counts Mr Putin because the godfather of certainly one of his youngsters, has been a divisive determine in Ukrainian politics, overtly courting the Kremlin at a time when Ukrainian troops are battling Russian-backed separatists within the east of the nation.
Ukrainian prosecutors on Tuesday revealed particulars of the treason expenses towards the 66-year-old oligarch who flaunts his shut friendship with the Russian chief hated in Ukraine for annexing the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Prosecutors stated they suspected opposition MP Medvedchuk of three counts of treason, together with transmitting categorized details about a secret Ukrainian army unit to Russia and handing over paperwork on a offshore oil area from Crimea to Russia.
Ivan Bakanov, head of the Ukrainian intelligence company SBU, instructed reporters that Medvedchuk handed the categorized data on Ukraine’s secret army unit final summer time to his ally, MP Taras Kozak, one other suspect, who was visiting Russia.
“It was sort of a present for Russian intelligence,” Bakanov stated.
Medvedchuk, whose house outdoors Kiev and different properties had been raided Tuesday morning, dismissed the fees towards him as a “political vendetta for a principled place.”
“I’ll proceed to cooperate with the investigation and demand justice not just for myself but additionally for all Ukrainian voters,” he stated in an announcement launched Tuesday night.
The Kremlin sounded the alarm on Wednesday over Mr Medvedchuk’s authorized points.
Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters that the legal investigation was “Ukraine’s inner affair”, however added that Moscow was following developments intently:
“We wish to ensure that this isn’t about persecuting an individual for his or her political beliefs or some form of marketing campaign to eliminate a political rival.”