The Ukrainian authorities published this Monday, April 18 the video of a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin arrested last week, in which the latter asks to be exchanged for soldiers and civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol.
“I want to address Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with the request to exchange me by the Ukrainian side for the defenders of Mariupol and its inhabitants,” said Ukrainian MP and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk in this short undated video.
For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, had proposed on April 12 in Moscow to exchange Viktor Medvedchuk against the Ukrainians in captivity in Russia.
Asked about a potential exchange, the Kremlin dodged the question, stressing that Viktor Medvedchuk was “not a Russian citizen” and said he did not know if he wanted Moscow to interfere in his case.
godfather of a daughter of Vladimir Putin
Viktor Medvedchuk had been under house arrest since May 2021 after being charged with “high treason” and “attempted looting of natural resources in Crimea”, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
On February 26, two days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian police noted his disappearance during a control visit.
Viktor Medvedchuk, 12th fortune in Ukraine in 2021 with 620 million dollars according to Forbes magazine (575 million euros at today’s rate, editor’s note), is known for his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin who is, according to the interested, the godfather of one of his daughters.