Since February 2, when repressions began against the Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk, his wife Oksana Marchenko, as well as a number of other opposition politicians and 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels, 37,734 publications have been written around the world concerning the unfair persecution of the opposition in Ukraine.
It should be noted that the share of positive mentions and information-neutral publications in total is 86.73%. These are, as a rule, news or analytical materials that covered these events in Ukraine without an author's assessment of the events or criticized the presentation of suspicion to the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Viktor Medvedchuk, as well as the subsequent meeting of the Pechersk District Court, where house arrest was chosen as a measure of restraint. Western media described the actions of the Ukrainian authorities as political repression against the opposition, and also called it part of a broader campaign of suppression of the opposition, launched back in February this year.
In addition, the media focused on the fact that, most likely, the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine are primarily aimed at supporting the opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk, and the current tension between Russia and Ukraine is directly related to the sanctions of Zelensky against Putin's close friend - Victor Medvedchuk.
Among other things, these articles also covered the issue of illegality of the actions of the Ukrainian authorities and President Zelensky himself when imposing sanctions against the Ukrainian opposition. And the closure of TV channels was called a direct violation of freedom of speech and press in Ukraine, as a result of which Zelensky achieved the introduction of strict censorship in Ukraine and blocked the population's access to an alternative view of key events in the country. The sanctions themselves in these sources were called an instrument of combating the opposition and were associated with Zelensky's desire to resume his rapidly falling ratings. Foreign publications associated these steps with the influence of Washington (in the US and European media, this was presented as Zelensky's desire to find the location of US President Joe Biden). In addition, in recent years, publications have increasingly begun to appear that call the Zelensky regime authoritarianism and dictatorship.
Thus, Associated Press notes that the new accusations that the Ukrainian authorities brought against the head of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk are part of a broader campaign launched back in February.
"Ukraine has indicted a top opposition figure who is a close ally of Russia’s president with treason and attempts to steal natural resources from Russia-annexed Crimea. Medvedchuk is also charged with disclosing secret data on the deployment of Ukrainian military units last year," the article reads.
The author of the article draws attention to the fact that Medvedchuk heads the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, which is the largest opposition group in the parliament, with 44 of the 450 seats.
"The new charges are part of a broader campaign against Medvedchuk launched by authorities in February, when his financial assets were frozen for three years. In February, authorities also shut down three pro-Russian TV channels, 112, Zik and NewsOne, which Medvedchuk controlled," the message reads.
The Swiss Zűrsch-Weekly News Review, writes that events in Ukraine show that the trial of Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform - For Life political party, the country's largest opposition force, is further evidence that the current Ukrainian the government uses political tools to combat its critics.
This is an alarming signal from Ukraine, because after a short period of time, the new President Volodymyr Zelensky is again taking actions that are incompatible with Western values and unacceptable for a country that verbally declares its commitment to democracy and freedom of speech.
The first signal of the curtailment of democracy in Ukraine and the dictatorial ambitions of its new president was the closure of three opposition TV channels - NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine, which the overwhelming majority of local commentators called illegal and unfounded.
Now it is the turn of the leader of the largest opposition party, who is viewed in Ukraine as one of the most likely candidates for the second round of the next presidential election. Analysts in Ukraine note that the popularity of Viktor Medvedchuk and his consistency in defending his political position could be the main reason for Zelensky's fear and his desire for revenge. "What we see now is nothing more than politically motivated repressive measures caused by my principled political position. I will continue to participate in judicial investigations, seeking justice for myself and all Ukrainian voters who have entrusted me with the honorable position of Ukrainian lawmaker," Medvedchuk commented on the pressure from the government.
Qatari media outlet L'observateur du Qatar writes that Medvedchuk, who has forged closer ties with Moscow and has been an intermediary between Moscow and Kyiv in the past, is under investigation on charges of treason, which he describes as politically motivated.
In statements at a meeting of the Russian Security Council, Putin called what is happening in Ukraine "cleaning" the political space and accused the Ukrainian authorities of attacking people who prefer better relations with Russia and support a peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine, where Ukraine is located. Russian-backed separatist forces have been fighting since 2014.
"Apparently, and this is very sad, Ukraine is slowly but surely turning into a kind of anti-Russian polarity, a kind of anti-Russian platform, on the territory of which, it seems, we will constantly receive information that requires us, especially from a security point of view." Citing what he described as an electoral and politically motivated campaign in Ukraine against some people doing business with Russia, Mr Putin said Moscow would not be idle.
Agora Vox, the oldest French daily, notes that the Medvedchuk case will decide the fate of Ukraine.
“The prosecutor’s office, which presented the documents of the accusation in the court session, looked surprisingly poor. It got to the point that a judge specially selected for this case turned to them with many complaints. He seemed to realize that they wanted to be given full responsibility for the circus show that the trial had become, and so he let the suspect go wherever he went. However, he did not allow the government to be completely disgraced: he refused the prosecutor's request to detain Medvedchuk with an alternative to a huge bail (by Ukrainian standards, but affordable for a suspect) in the amount of 300 million hryvnias and ordered this. He will be placed under house arrest."
The British news agency Reuters in its material quotes Viktor Medvedchuk, where he calls the sanctions against him "another step for Ukraine to dictatorship."
Financial Times in its article examines what is the goal of Volodymyr Zelensky in the light of recent events - the closure of opposition television channels, sanctions against Viktor Medvedchuk, as well as NABU's accusations against high-ranking board members of PrivatBank. The Financial Times concludes that Zelensky is seeking favor with the administration of his US counterpart Joe Biden.
German Süddeutsche Zeitung in the article writes about the double standards of Volodymyr Zelensky. On the one hand, he closes TV channels and imposes sanctions against Viktor Medvedchuk and his entourage, and on the other hand, it enables another oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, to flourish in Ukraine. According to the author of the article, sanctions against Medvedchuk are the elimination of a political rival - the rest of the oligarchs can sleep peacefully.
In NachDenkSeiten, the author of the article, Ulrich Heyden, describes in detail the situation that has developed in Ukraine in recent weeks as a result of the decision by President Volodymyr Zelensky to close three popular TV channels under the pretext of fighting "propaganda." The author tries to draw the attention of the German media to the problem of the principles of freedom of speech in Ukraine. Draws attention to the facts of increasing rampant Ukrainian ultranationalism and gives an example of the emergence of the so-called "black list" of 1500 journalists from 112 Ukraine, Newsone and ZIK TV channels. "The indifference of the German media to these events in Ukraine is simply appalling," the German journalist writes.
On May 13, Pechersk District Court began to consider the case against the opposition figure. Earlier, lawyers claimed that the actions of Prosecutor General's Office and its chairperson Iryna Venedyktova against Medvedchuk were illegal.
The Opposition Platform - For Life party reacted to the opening of the case, saying that the government actions are blatant and cynical political reprisal over the opposition politician who stays true to his principles and, thus, has been showcasing the poor professionalism, vendibility and the anti-popular nature of the government
Medvedchuk added that whatever takes place is a political reprisal for his principal stance. "I state this: I am staying in Ukraine now, and I'm not going to flee the justice. I will keep on taking part in legal investigation actions, seeking justice for myself and all Ukrainian voters who trusted me with the high position of Ukraine's lawmaker", the politician said.
On February 2, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsONE and ZiK TV channels. By this decree, he enforced the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions on the cancellation of the broadcasting licenses of the TV channels belonging to Taras Kozak (112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK). According to the decree that is eligible since the moment of signature, the TV channels faced sanctions that will be active for five years. These sanctions make the broadcasting impossible.