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14 May, 2021 14:19

‘A witch hunt doomed to failure’: Former Russian President Medvedev slams Ukrainian court case against leading opposition figures

‘A witch hunt doomed to failure’: Former Russian President Medvedev slams Ukrainian court case against leading opposition figures

Ukrainian prosecutions against opposition political figures Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak are a witch-hunt and will lead to the degradation of the country's power system, according to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

In a statement on the website of the ruling United Russia party, Medvedev shared his opinion that the charges against Medvedchuk and Kozak are "without the slightest foundation." The former head of state is the leader of United Russia, and sits on the country's Security Council as deputy chairman.

"Threatening two politicians with prison terms for mythical crimes will not improve the ratings of incumbent officials," Medvedev said. "Rather, on the contrary, they will lead to further degradation of the power system and aggravate its political weakness."

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Medvedchuk and Kozak are both facing charges of treason. Medvedchuk is the leader of Opposition Platform – For Life, one of Ukraine’s most popular political parties. He is known for his close connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and is accused of conspiring with Moscow to extract natural resources in Crimea and handing over classified information. Kozak is a close ally of Medvedchuk, and founded the now-blocked TV news channel 112.

According to Medvedev, the charges are entirely unfounded, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his friends should deal with the abundance of "internal and external problems" instead of conducting a "witch hunt doomed to failure."

"Especially if [he] wants to remain in people's memory not only as an actor in a comedy series," Medvedev said, in reference to Zelensky's former career as a star of the small screen.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian opposition leader Medvedchuk to face prosecution for 'treason' as Kiev's security services begin manhunt for him

The crackdown against Medvedchuk and Kozak started earlier this year. In February, a poll from the Kiev International Institute of Sociology put Opposition Platform – For Life ahead of Zelensky's Servant of the People party for the first time ever. In that poll, the president’s faction also fell behind European Solidarity, the party of ex-Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko.

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