Some criminal cases in Ukraine are about hollow charges with no verdict, but not this time. When the political will, the interest of the country's leadership, and public demand all line up, the case eventually gets completed. As it was with, the Viktor Yanukovych's high treason verdict in absentia.
How quickly the Medvedchuk case will develop is now a matter of law enforcers' skills. I don’t think it will all happen soon. Even with the Viktor Yanukovych verdict, it took more than 18 months.
Indeed, there are issues with the efficiency of law enforcement, while the judicial system will do anything but rush, so no one knows when the case will be completed. In addition, Medvedchuk has many allies in the judiciary, so he will try to compromise the probe from within. But I'm more of an optimist.
Medvedchuk has many allies in the judiciary, so he will try to compromise the probe from within
There's still time, while the combination of multiple factors means that the cases will further develop. I think that during the incumbent president's term in office, there are high chances of the case completing in an actual court verdict. Why? We can tell from the current developments.
Since February, when sanctions were first imposed on pro-Russian TV channels, and then against Medvedchuk and Kozak personally, calls were voiced in social networks and across media platforms: "Where are the raids, investigations, and charges?" So here we are – it's early May and we're seeing these raids, investigations, and charges unfold. Knowing the traditional pace of our political and legal process, things are moving quite fast this time. I'm even a little surprised. I didn't expect such developments.
There is political will in this case – the personal will of the president. Without such will, Venediktova would never sign a suspicion notice. She was aware of Zelensky's political will, hence the appropriate actions by the SBU and other law enforcement.
Here, by the way, we can observe an interesting effect: after the NSDC and its Secretary Oleksiy Danilov started skimming the "political cream" off of the sanctions, our other law enforcement agencies – the SBU, the Office of the Prosecutor General – reflected on the idea and kicked off a sort of competition. They also want to get their own "political cream" from the cake.
First, this is about President Zelensky appreciating their efforts. Secondly, they seek a positive social effect by demonstrating strength, influence, and capabilities.
The effect of competition, including on Medvedchuk's case, is already noticeable. And this will be the case in the future, serving as an additional impetus, pushing law enforcers to boast of their results. Of course, they all need to remain professional and collect due evidence. But the impetus is already in place.
The second important point, besides Zelensky's political will influencing the actions of law enforcement, is public demand and support of a significant part of the public. I have already said that calls for legal action against Medvedchuk appeared immediately after sanctions were imposed. Since people demand this, it will only motivate the president and law enforcement to act in this direction.
And one more thing is political interest. It works to destroy the most aggressive enemy within the pro-Russian camp (which will lead to the organizational, financial, and political weakening of this camp). In my opinion, what's happening now means that for the foreseeable future, Medvedchuk has no political future in Ukraine.
Also, an indirect hit targets Poroshenko. There are no immediate threats to the fifth president, but there are a lot of questions to be put forward before him as regards Medvedchuk. We are yet to see this line develop.
Putin will not fight over Medvedchuk. Rather, the latter will become yet another fugitive outcast
As a result, there may be a positive rating effect for Zelensky, which has already been observed over the past three months.
As of now, following the raids, Medvedchuk's whereabouts have not been established. We can assume he is in Russia. But I don't think Putin will fight over Medvedchuk. Rather, the latter will become yet another fugitive outcast.
Indeed, many may criticize such developments: "Right, once again an investigation in absentia or a verdict in absentia in the future..." But the main thing here is the result – the verdict. Of course, however, the effect of Medvedchuk's arrest or Medvedchuk being put in prison would be even greater. And if Medvedchuk were imprisoned, the country would see more political emigrants.
Finally, I will note that the latest special operation has been calculated. It is now clear that the leaked phone call between Medvedchuk and [Donbas warlord] Pushilin was no accident. Emotionally, it fueled society. And so, we have the development. You want Medvedchuk? Here you go, there's a suspicion notice targeting Medvedchuk. A true filmmaking style… The emotional and psychological effect has been well calculated.