President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky closed 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZiK TV channels, and also imposed sanctions against the chairman of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, MP Viktor Medvedchuk, his party colleague Taras Kozak and their wives - Oksana Marchenko and Natalia Lavrenyuk because of his rapidly falling rating, Austrian Wiener Zeitung writes.
Wiener Zeitung also notes that "the Russian comedian" Zelensky, "as radicals called him pejoratively on Facebook," was repeatedly accused of high treason and because of this fact numerous protests arose in the government, since Zelensky was "not previously known for his harshness against the opposition".
“All the more surprising are the steps that Zelenskiy has taken in recent weeks. In early February, he imposed sanctions against Taras Kozak, a member of the Opposition Platform - For Life party and TV channels owner... Later, Zelenskiy issued a decree against Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko. Medvedchuk denied the charges and announced that "sanctions cannot be imposed without a court decision," the journalists say.
The authors of the article emphasize that it is not known whether Zelensky's controversial decisions will be proven in court.
“One of the reasons for this may also be that Medvedchuk’s party has become an unwanted competitor to Zelensky and his Servant of the People party. According to some polls, it is already in first place, and the presidential party is losing more and more approval and in fact no longer has majority in parliament," the publication says.
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.