Ukraine Captures Pro-Putin Politician Viktor Medvedchuk

Ukrainian special forces captured a pro-Russia politician and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin weeks after he allegedly escaped house arrest.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky announced  on April 12 that the Ukrainian Secret Service captured Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Kremlin politician who had been under house arrest in Ukraine in 2021 on charges of treason and financing terrorism.

Ukraine’s Secret Service posted on Twitter a mugshot of Medvedchuk in handcuffs.

“You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You may be hiding from justice lately. You can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform for camouflage… But will it help you escape punishment? Not at all!” Ukraine’s Secret Service said.

In a video message, Zelensky suggested that Russia exchange “our boys and girls in Russian captivity” for Medvedchuk.

Medvedchuk, the leader of the pro-Russian opposition For Life party, allegedly escaped just three days after Russia launched its invasion in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Medvedchuk’s lawyer Larysa Cherednychenko denied the allegation that Medvedchuk had escaped, claiming that he had been forced to move locations due to threats from nationalist groups.

“In connection with the real danger to life, as well as the need to ensure his protection, Viktor Medvedchuk was evacuated to a safe place in Kyiv,” Cherednychenko said, as quoted by The Independent.

Medvedchuk, 67, has extremely close ties with Putin, who is the godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter, and is one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine, with a fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ukraine placed sanctions on Medvedchuk in February 2021 and shut down three TV stations that he said belonged to him for promoting Russian propaganda.

Medvedchuk said that the charges against him were politically-motivated.

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