Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch as well as Putin’s close friend, has launched a political initiative called “Another Ukraine” in Russia, according to a report by Radio Liberty Ukraine. His supporters include a cohort of accused traitors, propagandists and members of Ukrainian pro-Russian political parties who eventually fled to Russia.

In January 2023, at around the same time that Medvedchuk was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship, he began cobbling together Another Ukraine as a social media political movement, Radio Liberty has revealed. Some of its 13 members were recruited from among journalists working in Medvedchuk’s former media empire. Others were pro-Russian political consultants and local council members who fled from Ukraine to Russia after the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022.

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Their messages echo Kremlin propaganda about “crazy Nazi bandits,” imposing “satanism and lawlessness,” Zelensky’s “sacred war against the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” and a host of other canards.

Dubbed the “dark prince” of Ukrainian politics, Viktor Medvedchuk was the leader of Ukraine’s pro-Russian party, Opposition Platform – For Life. He was arrested in April 2022 by Ukrainian special services and charged with treason and disclosing state secrets. In September 2022, he was exchanged for Ukrainian POWs and then stripped of Ukrainian citizenship.

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Three of the new political movement – former journalist Volodymyr Skachko, who has been wanted by the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) since 2019, political commentator Yuri Dudkin, and blogger Ruslan Katsuba – have been accused by Ukrainian law enforcement bodies of treason and/or violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Despite ongoing investigations of their alleged crimes, they succeeded in fleeing from Ukraine, and law enforcement bodies could not explain how they managed leave the country.

Two members of city councils from the pro-Russian political party Opposition Platform – For Life also joined Another Ukraine: Bohdan Hihanov and Maksym Nevinchanny from the Odesa and Mykolaiv city councils, respectively.

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Other participants in Another Ukraine include political analysts and strategists Oleksandr Potemkin, Alexander Dudchak and Kyrylo Molchanov, along with journalists and bloggers Oleh Yasynsky, Olena Bronitska and Pavel Karnazitsky, among others.

The SBU did not comment about whether they have investigated the activities of the alleged members of Another Ukraine.

Radio Liberty noted that Another Ukraine has not been registered officially either as a party or a brand, speculating that the project is likely a virtual one whose participants will spread information online that will be re-shared by the pro-Kremlin media.

None of persons mentioned in the article responded to inquiries sent by Radio Liberty.

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