Ukrainian Court Puts Putin Ally Medvedchuk Under House Arrest

A Ukrainian court imposed house arrest on Kremlin-friendly politician Viktor Medvedchuk as prosecutors suspect him of treason.

A judge in capital Kyiv rejected prosecutors’ petition for Medvedchuk’s pre-trial detention or releasing him on a 300 million-hryvnia ($10.9 million) bail, according to a hearing broadcast online. Prosecutors suspect Medvedchuk of sharing information about a secret Ukrainian military unit with Russia.

Medvedchuk, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is also suspected of attempting to embezzle national resources in the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014, according to Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. He denies any wrongdoing and labeled the prosecutors’ actions “political repression.”

Medvedchuk, who is also a businessman and has been sanctioned by the U.S. for helping undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, is a leader of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform-For Life. The party’s ratings have been on the rise of late having plunged when Ukraine’s Kremlin-backed leader was toppled following deadly street protests in 2014.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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