May 11, 2021

The Kyiv Post reported, “Pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmakers Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak were charged with high treason, dealing a blow to the Kremlin’s lobby in Ukraine.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova announced on May 11 that she authorized high treason charges against two lawmakers, whom she only identified as ‘M’ and ‘K.’ A Kyiv Post source with the knowledge of the charges confirmed that the two were Medvedchuk and Kozak.

On the same day, Ukrainian media reported that the State Security Service was searching the house of Medvedchuk in Kyiv.

Medvedchuk is a personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has long been the unofficial representative of his interests in Ukraine. Medvedchuk and his ally Kozak are lawmakers with the Opposition Platform, a pro-Russian party with 44 seats in parliament.

The charges against Medvedchuk and Kozak are the newest step in an ongoing offensive against Medvedchuk’s interests that started in early February, when the state-imposed sanctions against Kozak shut down three television channels owned by Kozak and reportedly linked to Medvedchuk.

The state followed up by introducing sanctions against Medvedchuk, their spouses and businesses, and ordered to nationalize one of Medvedchuk’s most prized possessions — an oil pipeline that used to belong to Ukraine. A chain of gas stations associated with Medvedchuk was shut down following searches. His holiday home in the Carpathian Mountains was also searched.

Prosecutor General Venediktova didn’t go into detail to explain what the charges are about, but said that they were linked to their activities in Crimea.

‘Lawmakers ‘M’ and ‘K’ are suspected of high treason and attempted embezzlement of the national resources of Ukraine in Crimea,’ Venediktova wrote.”