Ukrainian and Russian officials have alleged that Putin’s ‘true motivations’ behind the invasion of Ukraine ended up driven by revenge versus Zelensky for sanctioning a Ukrainian politician still pleasant to Moscow just after 2014’s Crimean disaster.
Unbiased Russian outlet Verstka released a report on 25 April titled ‘How Putin Came to Loathe Ukraine’, quoting latest and past officials in both equally Russia and Ukraine.
The post claimed Russia started out preparing for a army operation just after Zelensky slapped sanctions on Moscow ally and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
Medvedchuk, 68, who now lives in exile in Russia, led the pro-Russian Opposition Platform for Everyday living party in advance of he was additional to the Ukrainian sanctions listing in 2021 because of to the alleged funding of terrorism.
3 sources near to Putin said a variety of sanctions imposed by Zelensky against Medvedchuk and allies ended up ‘the last straw’, pushing Putin to get prepared for a full scale armed service operation.
Fugitive oligarch and Putin’s shut pal Viktor Medvedchuk is seen handcuffed just after a exclusive procedure was carried out by Safety Assistance of Ukraine in Ukraine on 12 April 2022
Putin (R) attends a meeting with Viktor Medvedchuk in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 18 July 2019
Medvedchuk was a single of several professional-Russian voices that emerged in Ukrainian politics right after the dissolution of the USSR.
He is a personal mate of Vladimir Putin and is presently exiled in Russia, having been part of a prisoner swap in September 2022.
Putin was reported to have been enraged by the ‘personal attack’ on his ally in Ukraine.
Medvedchuk experienced reportedly advised Putin of strong pro-Russian sentiments in Ukraine, ‘stupidly deceptive Putin’, a supply shut to the presidential administration stated.
Newsweek reported following the war began that he even now looked like the favourite to be put in location as the new head of point out had been Russia to decisively defeat Ukraine.
The attorney-turned-politician built a identify for himself in Ukraine’s 2nd authorities underneath President Leonid Kuchma as the head of his presidential administration from 2002 right up until 2005.
The administration was marred by corruption and saw Ukrainian-Russian ties strengthen.
Medvedchuk was later deemed the key man or woman behind-the-scenes driving Viktor Yanukovych’s 2004 candidacy.
Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014 and afterwards exiled to Russia.
Ever more, Medvedchuk rallying from the European Union – comparing it to the Hitler’s 3rd Reich.
Pro-Russian gunmen then stormed into the Crimean parliament and allegedly pressured the installation of a new pro-Russian key minister.
Right after Crimea, Medvedchuk was thought of the most friendly politician to Moscow still in Ukraine.
When Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko still left workplace in 2019, Medvedchuk’s close associate Taras Kozak acquired a few information channels.
The professional-Russian channels criticised President Zelensky, who came to energy that Could.
Medvedchuk’s Opposition Platform for Lifetime social gathering grew as a end result, Verstka reviews.
In response, a distinctive procedure was carried out in February 2021 to ‘neutralize’ Medvedchuk, the publication says.
Medvedchuk and his ally were being slapped with harsh sanctions, the new President declaring the Tv channels had carried out anti-Ukrainian propaganda and interfered with Ukraine’s integration into the EU.
The channels had been banned from broadcasting, irking Putin.
Vertska claim that the sanctions also influenced Medvedchuk personally, ‘who, alongside with his wife, was included in the listing of the SBU investigation on the financing of terrorism’.
He was later amid those sanctioned by the British govt in relation to the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Resources near to Putin claimed it was the destruction of Medvedchuk’s ‘information resource’ which lastly drove Putin to invade in February 2022.
‘The Kremlin decided not to resort to the applications of “gentle ability” anymore.’
Pictured: Zelensky comes for a assembly with Austrian chancellor in Kyiv on 9 April, 2022
A day ahead of Russia’s invasion on 24 February 2022, Kyiv mentioned Medvedchuk experienced escaped from household arrest and went on the operate.
Ukraine’s national protection agency wrote on twitter: ‘You can be a professional-Russian politician and operate for the aggressor condition for years.
‘You may be hiding from justice lately. You can even dress in a Ukrainian armed service uniform for camouflage… But will it support you escape punishment? Not at all! Shackles are waiting for you.’
He was in the long run caught on 12 April in a ‘lighting-quick and risky multi-amount specific operation’, Ukrainian security companies mentioned.
He was sooner or later handed into a prisoner swap in which Ukraine sent Medvedchuk and 55 Russian POWs in return for 215 POWs in September final year.