In his regular evening video address on Jan. 10, President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that he had stripped four people: pro-Kremlin lawmakers Andriy Derkach, Taras Kozak, Renat Kuzmin, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's close ally Viktor Medvedchuk.
"If MPs choose to serve not the people of Ukraine but the murderers who came to Ukraine, our actions will be appropriate, and these are not the last such decisions," Zelensky said, adding that the decision was based on material gathered by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
Derkach is charged with high treason and illicit enrichment, and the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for him in October. According to the authorities, Derkach received funds from a Russian intelligence agency to create private security firms that Russia planned to use for capturing Ukraine.
Medvedchuk, whose daughter Daria names Putin as her godfather, was arrested in April 2022 after fleeing house arrest, and later handed over to Russia in exchange for captured defenders of the Azovstal Steel Works in Mariupol.
Before they were banned and closed down by Zelensky's government in early 2021, Medvedchuk ran numerous media outlets infamous for their Russian-sympathizing narratives.
Viktor Medvedchuk is Ukraine's most high-profile pro-Kremlin politician and Putin's right-hand man in Ukraine. He was handed over to Russia in exchange for 200 POWs in late September. Kozak and Kuzmin are Medvedchuk’s allies.