Accessibility links

Breaking News

Ukraine Extends House Arrest Of Kremlin-Friendly Tycoon And Lawmaker Medvedchuk

Viktor Medvedchuk
Viktor Medvedchuk

KYIV -- A Ukrainian court has extended by two months the house arrest of Viktor Medvedchuk, a Kremlin-leaning lawmaker and tycoon who is accused of supporting fighters in two eastern provinces.

Medvedchuk, who heads Opposition Platform-For Life, the second-largest party in the parliament, will remain under house arrest until October 31, the court said.

The 67-year-old Medvedchuk, who has a close personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is accused of funneling profits from his businesses into the two separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has been battling the Russia-backed separatists since 2014 in a war that has killed more than 13,200.

Medvedchuk denies the charges and calls them politically motivated.

The lawmaker was first placed under house arrest in May after Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) searched his home and office in Kyiv.

In a sign of things to come, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in February signed off on sanctions against Medvedchuk and three television stations believed to be owned by the tycoon in a move that caught the country by surprise.

Zelenskiy later described it as the start of his campaign to reduce the influence of a handful of tycoons who control the country from behind the scenes.

Civil society activists accuse Medvedchuk of undermining crucial reforms that would help Ukraine build a rules-based society and move closer to its goal of joining the European Union and NATO.

They also accuse his stations of spreading Russian disinformation.

The United States sanctioned Medvedchuk in 2014 for undermining democracy in Ukraine.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has seen its audience grow significantly since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 and is among the most cited media outlets in the country. Its bold, in-depth reporting from the front lines has won many accolades and awards. Its comprehensive coverage also includes award-winning reporting by the Donbas.Realities and Crimea.Realities projects and the Schemes investigative unit.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.