Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and leader of pro-Moscow 'Opposition Platform For Life' political party was detained in a special operation carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine or the SBU (Image courtesy: SBU)
Ukraine has offered to trade a detained close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Ukrainians held in Russian prisons.
Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and leader of pro-Moscow 'Opposition Platform For Life' political party was detained in a special operation carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine or the SBU. It has also been reported that Putin is the godfather to Medvedchuk's youngest daughter.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a photograph of handcuffed Medvedchuk in military uniform in a Telegram post on Tuesday evening, saying "A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU. Well done! Details later."
The SBU head Ivan Bakanov also took to Telegram, saying that the operation to detain Medvedchuk was carried out on behalf of Zelensky.
"I thank all the SBU employees, in particular, the investigators and counterintelligence officers of the Ukrainian intelligence services, who, following the instructions of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, proved their professionalism and carried out this lightning-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation to detain MP Medvedchuk. Not a single traitor will escape punishment. They all will answer to the fullest extent for their misdeeds pursuant to the law of Ukraine," Bakanov said.
Later in the night, in his video address to the country, Zelenskyy proposed an exchange deal to the Kremlin.
"I offer the Russian Federation to exchange this guy of yours for our boys and our girls who are now in Russian captivity. It is therefore important that our law enforcement officials and military also consider this possibility," he said.
Zelenskyy said that Medvedchuk had been hiding for 48 days and finally decided to try to escape Ukraine.
"I think it is especially cynical of him to use military camouflage. He tried to disguise himself like that. Such a 'soldier'. Such a 'patriot'. Well, if Medvedchuk chose a military uniform for himself, he falls under the rules of wartime," said the Ukrainian President.
Russia, meanwhile, has reacted cautiously to the news of Medvedchuk's detention.
Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary of the Russian President, said on Tuesday that information about the detention of Medvedchuk still needs to be verified.
"After all, such a number of fakes are now coming from Ukraine," he said.
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