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Wife of Putin ally detained in Ukraine begs Zelensky to release him

The famous wife of Vladimir Putin’s main ally in Ukraine personally pleaded with President Volodymyr Zelensky to release him from captivity, saying on Friday he was being beaten and “persecuted for political reasons”.

Oksana Marchenko – a former TV star who hosted ‘X-Factor Ukraine’ – first posted a direct appeal on Wednesday, the day after her husband, longtime Putin friend Viktor Medvedchuk, was detained in kyiv for treason.

“President Zelensky, I ask you to take all necessary steps for the immediate release of my husband,” she said, speaking directly to the camera in her YouTube appeal.

“There is no doubt that my husband is persecuted for political reasons, contrary to the laws of Ukraine and international law,” she insisted of the 67-year-old oligarch and former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party.

She made fresh calls at a press conference in Moscow on Friday, insisting her husband was a “political prisoner”.

“I have no doubt that my husband was beaten within hours of his capture,” Marchenko said at the press conference, without providing evidence.

Oksana Marchenko with her husband Viktor Medvedchuk.

“I call for help to stop the physical and mental torture,” she said.

She said she “unfortunately” hadn’t heard from Zelensky – and admitted she wasn’t expecting it either.

“He does not answer such questions, he is his own law,” Marchenko added, according to Russian news agency TASS.

In this image provided by Ukraine's Presidential Press Office, oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who is both the former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party and a close aide to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, sits handcuffed after being detained in a special operation carried out by the country's SBU secret service, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Ukraine.
Oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk is handcuffed after being detained during a special operation by Ukraine’s SBU secret service on April 12, 2022 in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Medvedchuk – listed by Forbes last year as Ukraine’s 12th richest person, worth $620million – was placed under house arrest last May, charged with “high treason”.

In January, the United States also accused Medvedchuk of involvement in Russian intelligence efforts to groom friendly Ukrainian politicians to take over the country with the support of occupying forces.

According to Ukrainian police, he fled house arrest days after Putin invaded Ukraine in late February.

Viktor Medvedchuk (L), chairman of the board of the Ukrainian opposition platform - For Life, and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence
Viktor Medvedchuk with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky announced his arrest on Tuesday, showing him shot and handcuffed – and sparking lots of celebrations.

“It is a symbolic event, like the capture of Goebbels, a great success from a moral and political point of view,” said Sergiy Leshchenko, Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidency, referring to the head of Nazi propaganda.

“He was the man who received direct instructions and resources from Putin to prepare the ground for the invasion,” he alleged, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Oksana Marchenko and Viktor Medvedchuk
Marchenko is a former TV star who hosted “X-Factor Ukraine”.

Medvedchuk and the Kremlin deny pulling the Kremlin strings in Kyiv.

However, he has made no secret of his closeness to Putin, even bragging about how the hawkish president is godfather to his youngest daughter, Daryna.

“We have a great relationship. It was built over many years,” Medvedchuk told Agence France-Presse in 2019.

With post wires

New York Post

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