President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that for the first time in many years the number of oligarchs in Ukraine has decreased, meaning the People's Deputy Viktor Medvedchuk, who is suspected of high treason and had been placed under house arrest the day before.
The head of state wrote about this in the column of online news outlet Focus.
"For the first time in many years, the number of oligarchs has not increased, but decreased. Minus Medvedchuk. By means of legal tools, Medvedchuk was deprived of the opportunity to use media assets and state property in order to openly hit the country and cause devastating damage to state security. There will be more minuses until all the oligarchs become just big businessmen."
President of Ukraine
According to Zelenskyy, this could be done by the authorities who had ruled the country before, if they "wanted it." He noted that "at that time it was believed that the oligarchs were profitable, natural and guaranteed stability."
The head of state also said that in the near future a fundamental draft law on de-oligarchization would be presented that would fix a systematic view of this problem. Until this was done, the country was moving towards the status of the poorest in Europe. Now it will allegedly be able to move to stable economic growth. Zelenskyy also explained that the "elite" [meaning Ukrainian oligarchs—] "modeled the game for themselves".
"I have to say frankly: a state where there is such an inequality certainly cannot be comfortable and competitive. The vast majority of Ukrainians did not consider this situation to be fair. This is what affected the results of the 2019 elections," he added.
Context. In winter, the NSDC imposed sanctions against Taras Kozak and Medvedchuk's TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK for a period of five years, and Zelenskyy put them into effect. Later, the NSDC also imposed sanctions against airlines—the Moldovan JET4U SRL and the Portuguese JET4U LDA owning the planes on which Medvedchuk and Kozak flew to Russia.
In addition, sanctions were imposed against 19 legal entities and 8 individuals, including specifically against Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko.