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7 Sep, 2021 15:47

Ukrainian President Zelensky harasses country's opposition & acts just like Belarus' Lukashenko, claims predecessor Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Zelensky harasses country's opposition & acts just like Belarus' Lukashenko, claims predecessor Poroshenko

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has accused the current head of state, Volodymyr Zelensky, of persecuting the country's opposition, claiming that he acts in a similar manner to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Speaking on Tuesday, Poroshenko said that Zelensky is moving down the "well-trodden path of Lukashenko."

The former Ukrainian president was speaking a day after Belarusian opposition activists Maria Kolesnikova and Maksim Znak were sentenced by the Minsk Regional Court to 11 and 10 years of imprisonment, respectively. Both Kolesnikova and Znak were part of the movement to elect now-imprisoned former presidential candidate Viktor Babariko.

The defense of Kolesnikova and Znak intends to appeal the ruling.

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"I ask Zelensky not to express support for Kolesnikova because Zelensky's political behavior with the persecution of the opposition because his own behavior… clearly confirms that Zelensky is moving in the well-trodden path of Lukashenko," the former president said.

"It would be a shame if he ended up the same way."

In recent months, Zelensky has taken aim at many of the country's most-prominent opposition figures, including Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of the second-largest party in Ukraine's parliament, Opposition Platform – For Life. He is currently under house arrest, facing charges of alleged high treason. He believes his prosecution is linked to his improving results in opinion polls.

Another of Medvedchuk's colleagues at Opposition Platform – For Life, lawmaker Taras Kozak, has also been accused of treason. Other anti-Zelensky figures, such as well-known blogger Anatoly Shariy and opposition-outlet editor Igor Guzhva, have also been sanctioned.

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