Oksana Marchenko (file photo)
KYIV -- A court in Ukraine has frozen the assets of Oksana Marchenko, the wife of pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said on March 24 that the assets, estimated at 440 million hryvnyas ($11.9 million), are related to a 6.8 percent stake Marchenko owns in the Dniprospetstal steelworks in the city of Zaporizhzhya.
"The freezing of these assets will prevent their re-registration under other fake names and will allow them to be transferred for our state's needs," the SBU statement said. Last month, another court ruling froze and impounded assets and property in Ukraine held by Marchenko with an estimated value of 5.6 billion hryvnyas ($152.5 million). The court said Marchenko used some of her companies and businesses under her name "to carry out sabotage against Ukraine." Marchenko's husband, Viktor Medvedchuk, is a longtime Ukrainian political fixture and reportedly a godfather to Russian President Vladimir Putin's daughter. Medvedchuk was one of Ukraine's wealthiest individuals, with a fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including energy assets in Russia.
Ukraine placed sanctions on Medvedchuk in February 2021, freezing his assets, and took three television stations it said belonged to him off the air for promoting Russian propaganda.
He was arrested in 2021 on charges of treason and terrorism financing and later placed under house arrest on bail. Shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, Medvedchuk escaped house arrest, but was rearrested in April while trying to flee to Russia. In June, a court in Ukraine banned the Medvedchuk-led pro-Russian Opposition Platform -- For Life (OPZZh) political party. In September, Ukrainian authorities handed the 68-year-old politician over to Russia in a prisoner exchange. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has since stripped Medvedchuk and three other pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians of their Ukrainian citizenship.