Viktor Medvedchuk, the Ukrainian opposition leader who is a close friend of Vladimir Putin, is to spend two months under house arrest while awaiting trial for high treason.

A Kyiv judge rejected yesterday a prosecutor’s request for jail in lieu of bail of nearly $11 million. The Russian president is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter. In the 424-member Rada, Medvedchuk leads the largest opposition group, the 44-member Opposition Platform – For Life.

In a crackdown on pro-Russian political and business interests, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has authorized high treason charges against two Rada members,

 Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak. In February, the Kyiv government seized the pair’s three TV stations, a chain of gas stations and oil pipeline. Yesterday Venediktova said that Medvedchuk and Kozak are suspected of colluding with the Russian government to produce gas in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014. Noting Medvedchuk’s friendship with Vladimir Putin, Bloomberg called the charges “a move that’s likely [to] fan already elevated tensions with Russia.”