Ukrainian TV star Oksana Marchenko, the wife of the country’s arrested opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, released a video on Wednesday pleading to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to assist in freeing her husband.
She claims her husband was illegally captured at the personal request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday and is being held as a hostage at an unknown location.
“Earlier, they tried to convict my husband in a political trial. My husband did not violate any laws. Everything that is happening completely contradicts the legal foundations of the Ukrainian state and international law. I consider my husband’s abduction to be terrorism,” said Marchenko.
Viktor Medvedchuk, who heads the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which was the second-largest faction in the Ukrainian parliament, was arrested on Tuesday by the SBU, Ukraine’s security service. The arrest was made public after president Zelensky published a photo of his handcuffed rival, whom he has accused of treason over dealings with Crimea, and being a “pro-Russian” politician.
Medvedchuk, who opposed the 2014 Kiev Maidan, and believes the country’s Western turn to be detrimental to Ukraine’s interests, has led his party since 2018. He previously served as Chief of Staff to former President Leonid Kuchma, in the early 2000s.
Some Western commentators have labelled him as Vladimir Putin’s “closest ally in Ukraine.” However, the Russian President has described Medvechuk as a “Ukrainian nationalist.”