Putin bemoans Ukraine’s crackdown on pro-Russia opposition


MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has harshly criticized Ukrainian authorities for what he described as their crackdown on the Moscow-friendly opposition amid simmering tensions between the two neighbors. Putin’s statement comes a day after Viktor Medvedchuk, who heads the Opposition Platform for Life party, the largest opposition force in Ukraine’s parliament, was placed under house arrest on treason charges that he denied. Medvedchuk has close personal ties with Putin, the godfather of his daughter. Without mentioning Medvedchuk by name, Putin on Friday lamented what he described as the ongoing “cleansing” of Ukraine’s political arena, saying that those who favor cooperation with Russia face political reprisals.

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