Commentary: Detention of Medvedchuk – judgment cannot be exchanged | Comments from DW Reviewers and Guest Writers | DW

By | April 14, 2022

The SBU caught Viktor Medvedchuk, who escaped from house arrest. Putin’s godfather, who is accused of treason and involvement in the financing of terrorism in ORDLO (before the start of the war, separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, not controlled by official Kiev. – Ed.) with the help of the FSB tried to escape to Russia through Transnistria. Zelensky has already offered the Kremlin to exchange Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainians. Publicly, Moscow was lukewarm about the idea. But, I am sure that Putin will make every effort to save Viktor Vladimirovich, for whom he has no less questions than in the SBU.

Prison or exchange?

Commenting on the possibility of exchanging Putin’s godfather for Ukrainians captured by Russia, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, of course, is disingenuous. He claims that the Kremlin doesn’t know if Medvedchuk himself, who is neither a Russian citizen nor a participant in the so-called “special military operation”, wants this. But the very fact that Putin’s godfather, with the assistance of the FSB, tried to escape to Russia through Transnistria speaks for itself.

Sergey Rudenko

Sergey Rudenko

Where Medvedchuk will end up after the verdict of the Ukrainian court – in prison or under exchange, will be decided not by him, but by Zelensky and Putin. It is very important for the President of Ukraine to get his military out of captivity. For the owner of the Kremlin – to hear from the lips of his godfather an explanation why, despite the great support of Moscow, the project of the “Russian world”, which Medvedchuk oversaw in Ukraine, failed. I’m not entirely sure that Viktor Vladimirovich is now ready for such a conversation with Putin. But he really doesn’t have much choice. Yes, and judging by the latest ultimatum from his wife, Oksana Marchenko, to Vladimir Zelensky, the entire Medvedchuk family is waiting for him in Russia.

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For Ukrainians, the court verdict to Putin’s godfather, who once had a significant influence both on Ukrainian politics and on the servants of Themis, will be a marker of justice in the state. In the context of the war, the citizens of Ukraine have already become eyewitnesses of the terrible crimes committed by Russia. But they must also witness the inevitable punishment of those who brought this war into their home. Although, I am sure, for the majority of Ukrainians, the life of the defenders of the fatherland has true value, rather than the future fate of a collaborator who has personal ties with Vladimir Putin.

Three slaps in the face to Putin

Over the past year, Vladimir Putin has received several high-profile slaps from Kyiv. And they are all connected with Viktor Medvedchuk. First, the Ukrainian authorities closed three TV channels that belonged to the godfather of the President of Russia, then put him under house arrest with an electronic bracelet. And finally – on the 48th day of the war, having caught the VIP fugitive, she showed the public a frightened, disheveled man in handcuffs, dressed in a pixel without any insignia.

Putin, I am sure, perceives what is happening with Medvedchuk in Ukraine as a personal insult. And no matter how much the Russian side tries to convince the Ukrainians that it is not going to include the godfather of the President of the Russian Federation in the exchange fund, obviously, it is fundamental for the owner of the Kremlin to recapture him from Ukraine. Like, Putin does not abandon his.

Viktor Medvedchuk is only the top of the “Russian world” in Ukraine. Behind him is a complex scheme that has worked for Moscow for two decades. His knowledge poses a direct threat to Vladimir Putin personally. Both in the present and in the future. Medvedchuk is not only an important witness, but also an accomplice in war crimes committed by the Russian leadership on the territory of Ukraine. To abandon the godfather in this situation would be extremely unreasonable on Putin’s part.

Medvedchuk is doomed to oblivion

Even before the court verdict was issued in the case of high treason and involvement in the financing of terrorism in ORDLO, Medvedchuk, who boasted so much of his lawyering skills, had already received his sentence. Ukraine, which he so disliked and hated, repays him. From now on, you can’t hide and wash away the stigma of the godfather of the executioner of Ukrainians. It will forever remain with him, no matter what status he has in the future.

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Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine ended Viktor Medvedchuk’s career. From a once influential and wealthy man, he turned into a miserable collaborator and accomplice of the invaders. Everything that he had been striving for in the last twenty years – fame, money, success – burst like a soap bubble. The almighty godfather of Putin turned out to be worthless and used material. The same as Viktor Yanukovych became in 2014. Just like him, Medvedchuk is doomed to oblivion. If not in a Ukrainian prison, then somewhere in central Russia.

Author: Sergey Rudenko is a Ukrainian journalist and political commentator. He published several books about Ukrainian politicians. Writer of a weekly column for DW. Sergey Rudenko in Facebook: Sergey Rudenko.

The comment expresses the personal opinion of the author. It may not coincide with the opinion of the Russian editions and German wave in in general.

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