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SBU: Companies linked to Medvedchuk’s wife funded Russian military, occupation government in Crimea

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 7, 2023 2:07 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Feb. 7 that it had “liquidated a large-scale scheme of underground financing” of the Russian National Guard and Interior Ministry in occupied Crimea from the companies linked to Oksana Marchenko, the wife of Ukraine's most high-profile pro-Kremlin politician and Russian President Vladimir Putin's ally Viktor Medvedchuk.

The SBU said that the companies, whose final beneficiary was Marchenko, had allegedly paid the Russian military for the “protection of Medvedchuk's real estate property” in Russian-occupied Crimea.

“The total amount of payments made in favor of the (Russian) aggressor is over Hr 50 million ($1.3 million),” the SBU reported, adding that the companies continued operating after the start of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.

According to SBU, Marchenko and the head of an affiliated company in Crimea have already been informed they were suspected of “financing actions aimed to overthrow the constitutional order or seizure of state power.” They face up to eight years in prison with confiscation of property, the SBU said.

Marchenko was also summoned to the SBU office in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast for questioning on Feb. 14.

Medvedchuk was a co-leader of Opposition Platform For Life, a pro-Kremlin party that was banned in March 2022. The Ukrainian parliament stripped Medvedchuk of his mandate in January 2023.

Medvedchuk was charged with high treason and placed under house arrest in 2021. He fled the house arrest after Russia had launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and was re-arrested in April.

In September, he was handed over to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange.

Earlier in April, a Ukrainian court arrested the property of companies linked to Marchenko. According to the police, the list included seven apartments, two houses, over 300 paintings, and multiple cars.

Who is Viktor Medvedchuk and why his arrest is a big deal
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