Russia-Ukraine war: Wife of Putin's 'best friend' asks Erdogan to free him from detention
The wife of the Ukrainian oligarch dubbed Vladimir Putin’s best friend asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to help arrange her husband's release in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday.
Ukraine said on Tuesday that it has captured Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy businessman and the leader of the pro-Russian For Life Party, who allegedly fled in late February while out on bail.
He was arrested in 2021 on charges of treason. Medvedchuk denies the charges.
His wife, Oksana Marchenko, said in the video message that she is seeking Erdogan’s help for his release.
Stay informed with MEE's newsletters
Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked
“I, Oksana Marchenko, wife of opposition leader Ukrainian deputy Viktor Medvedchuk, apply to you with a request for help,” she said.
“On 12 April, my husband was sent by the Security Service of Ukraine on Zelensky's personal instruction. He was illegally detained and is currently being held as a hostage unlawfully in an unknown location. Previously, they tried to convict my husband in a political case. My husband did not violate any law."
Viktor Medvedchuk, 67, has longstanding ties with Putin and asked the Russian president to be his child's godfather.
“You are in favour of peaceful dialogue. You have repeatedly said that you are a friend of my country - Ukraine - and a friend of Russia. I believe in it.
"As they say in Turkey, a good friend is known on a rainy day,” Marchenko added.
She also recorded another video prior to this one, asking Zelensky to release her husband.
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.