Ukrainian and Russian officials have alleged that Putin’s true motives for invading Ukraine were motivated by revenge against Zelensky for punishing a Ukrainian politician still a friend of Moscow after the 2014 Crimea crisis.
The independent Russian company Verstka published A a report on April 25, titled “How Putin Got to Hate Ukraine,” quoting current and former officials of both Russia and Ukraine.
The article claimed that Russia began preparing for a military operation after Zelensky imposed sanctions on Moscow’s ally and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
Medvedchuk, 68, who now lives in exile in Russia, led the pro-Russian opposition party Platform for Life before being added to Ukraine’s sanctions list in 2021 over alleged financing of terrorism.
Three sources close to Putin said that the various sanctions imposed by Zelensky on Medvedchuk and his allies were the “last straw”, prompting Putin to prepare for a large-scale military operation.
The fugitive oligarch and Putin’s close friend Viktor Medvedchuk is seen handcuffed after carrying out a special operation by the Security Service of Ukraine in Ukraine on April 12, 2022.
Putin (right) attends a meeting with Viktor Medvedchuk in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 18, 2019.
Medvedchuk was one of the many pro-Russian voices that emerged in post-Soviet Ukrainian politics.
He is a personal friend of Vladimir Putin and currently exiled in Russia, having been part of a prisoner exchange in September 2022.
Putin was said to be enraged by the “personal attack” on his ally in Ukraine.
A source close to the presidential administration said that Medvedchuk informed Putin of strong pro-Russian sentiments in Ukraine, “stupidly misleading Putin.”
Newsweek mentioned After the start of the war, he still seemed the favorite to take over as the new head of state was Russia to decisively defeat Ukraine.
The lawyer-turned-politician made a name for himself in Ukraine’s second government under President Leonid Kuchma as head of his presidential administration from 2002 until 2005.
The administration was marred by corruption and saw Ukrainian-Russian relations improve.
Medvedchuk was later It is considered The main person behind the scenes leading Viktor Yanukovych’s 2004 candidacy.
Yanukovych was overthrown in February 2014 and later exiled to Russia.
Increasingly, Medvedchuk rallied against the EU – Comparison To Hitler’s Third Reich.
Pro-Russian gunmen then stormed the Crimean parliament and allegedly forced the installation of a new pro-Russian prime minister.
After Crimea, Medvedchuk was considered the most Moscow-friendly politician still in Ukraine.
When Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko left office in 2019, Taras Kozak, a close aide to Medvedchuk, took over three news channels.
Pro-Russian channels have criticized President Zelensky, who came to power in May.
As a result, Medvedchuk’s opposition party For Life, Verstka, grew reports.
In response, a special operation was carried out in February 2021 to ‘neutralize’ Medvedchuk, the post says.
Medvedchuk and his ally were subjected to harsh punishments, and the new president said that the TV channels carried out anti-Ukrainian propaganda and interfered with Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.
The channels were banned from broadcasting, angering Putin.
Vertska claims that the sanctions also affected Medvedchuk personally, “who, along with his wife, was on the CIA’s terrorist financing investigation list.”
He was later among those You approve it By the British Government in connection with the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Sources close to Putin said it was the destruction of Medvedchuk’s ‘source of information’ that finally pushed Putin to invade in February 2022.
The Kremlin decided not to resort to the tools of “soft power” anymore.
Pictured: Zelensky arrives to meet the Austrian Chancellor in Kiev on April 9, 2022
A day before the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, Kiev said Medvedchuk had escaped from house arrest and fled.
“You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor country for years,” the National Security Agency of Ukraine wrote on Twitter.
You may have been hiding from justice lately. You can even wear Ukrainian military uniform for camouflage…but will it help you escape punishment? never! Shackles are waiting for you.
The Ukrainian security services said he was eventually captured on April 12 in a “light-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation”.
Ultimately, he was handed over in a prisoner exchange, in which Ukraine sent Medvedchuk and 55 Russian prisoners of war in exchange for 215 prisoners of war in September last year.