Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has got one of his leading political opponents arrested and put in handcuffs, then went on to brag about it on social media.
Russia Today posted a screenshot of Zelenskyy’s Telegram post showing Viktor Medvedchuk sitting handcuffed with Zelenskyy congratulating Ukraine’s security intelligence for arresting him. Medvedchuk is the leader of Ukraine’s largest opposition party, Opposition Platform – For Life. The story wrote:
He was previously placed under house arrest, last year, as part of Zelensky’s clampdown on dissent, which was granted tacit approval by the regime’s Western supporters.
The story added that Medvedchuk’s party outranked Zelensky’s Servant of the People according to polls in 2021. Zelensky has since accused Medvedchuk of being “pro-Russian” while he has called Zelensky’s rule a dictatorship that suppresses political opposition.
Daily Mail added that last year Medvedchuk was placed on house arrest over accusations that he committed treason and handing Ukraine’s military secrets to Russia.
He was being held under house arrest since last year on treason charges over accusations of attempting to steal natural resources from Russia-annexed Crimea and of handing Ukrainian military secrets to Moscow.
However, Daily Mail did not offer any piece of evidence from Ukraine’s government or other sources proving the allegations against Medvedchuk. In addition, no details of any court proceedings against him were shared, making the allegations uncorroborated claims to justify the politically motivated crackdown on the rival political leader. This was also reflected in the story’s negative depiction of Medvedchuk as a friend of Putin who is godfather to Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter.
Last month, Zelenskyy openly turned Ukraine into a dictatorship by announcing a ban on opposition political parties and independent media. He also banned independent reporting of news and brought all TV news channels under his government’s control. Zelenskyy used his special emergency power he enjoys under the current martial law imposed by him in the country immediately after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.