Stop Medvedchuk threat
Now that President Volodymyr Zelensky has belatedly awoken to the threat to the nation’s survival posed by the untouchable 15-member Constitutional Court, he should start attacking the underlying causes.
One of them is Viktor Medvedchuk, a friend of Ukraine’s top enemy, Vladimir Putin and long a cancer on Ukraine’s political scene.
Dating back to the 1990s, a short summary of why he’s a threat to the nation: His murky acquisition of wealth, his leadership of the “oligarch party” known as the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine — United, his denials of credible accusations of helping to falsify the 2004 presidential election, his alleged but denied support of press censorship as chief of staff to President Leonid Kuchma.
Today, he leads a 44-member faction in parliament, the Opposition Platform — For Life, that is not only pro-Russian, but one that appears to be working in evil partnership with the Constitutional Court to destroy the nation’s anti-corruption infrastructure and banking system. In any rule of law nation, this faction would be a rich target for police and prosecutors, since it includes the likes of Yuriy Boyko, Renat Kuzmin, Serhiy Lyovochkin, Oleksandr Feldman and Nestor Shufrych.
Medvedchuk also controls three pro-Russian propaganda outlets masquerading as Ukrainian television stations — 112, NewsOne and ZIK channels.
It’s a great position for someone sanctioned by the U.S. government for actions that “threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Medvedchuk is also being designated because he has “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to (ex-President Viktor) Yanukovych and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Medvedchuk is smart enough to know that, whatever progress Ukraine makes towards becoming a Western democracy, it can be reversed in the corrupt courts. Now’s the time to prove him wrong. Start by passing a law stripping sanctioned individuals of their assets, including TV stations, and investigating alleged past misdeeds. Start with Medvedchuk, the biggest bully on the block.