Viktor Medvedchuk, the best-known prisoner launched by means of Ukraine in a prisoner change with Russia, is a detailed good friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who for years acted because the Kremlin’s major agent of affect in Ukraine.
Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian flesh presser and oligarch, used to be passed over in conjunction with Russian pilots and senior army officers, a most sensible adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Wednesday, in change for greater than 200 Ukrainian combatants, together with Azov battalion commanders who have been hailed as heroes on Ukraine for his or her closing protection of Mariupol. It used to be the biggest change of prisoners in all the seven-month warfare.
Russian officers have prior to now denied any claims towards Medvedchuk, regardless of his long-known ties to Putin, who’s godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter. A Kremlin spokesman in Might disregarded the theory of exchanging Medvedchuk for Ukrainian combatants, pronouncing he had “not anything to do with Russia,” Russian state media reported.
Subscribe to The Morning publication from The New York Instances
Medvedchuk used to be captured by means of Ukrainian government in April after he escaped from space arrest whilst expecting trial on treason fees in a case filed closing yr. Following his detention, officers in Ukraine additionally confiscated a few of his huge fortune, collected thru power offers with the Kremlin whilst he labored to make stronger Russia’s pursuits in Ukraine and past.
On the time of his arrest, Zelensky printed a photograph wherein Medvedchuk appeared raveled in handcuffs. “Let Medvedchuk be an instance for you,” the Ukrainian chief stated in an in a single day deal with. “Even the previous oligarch did not run away.”
A former vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, adviser to the president, and a player in prisoner change negotiations with Russia, Medvedchuk has been a polarizing determine in Ukraine who has advocated nearer members of the family with Moscow. His two-decade friendship with Putin is definitely documented. The Russian president visited Medvedchuk’s palatial Crimean place of abode in 2012, and an professional Kremlin picture presentations Medvedchuk with Putin at a martial arts event in 2013.
Medvedchuk’s affect used to be such that his title used to be featured in a federal investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 US presidential election. He used to be a consumer of Republican political guide Paul Manafort, who suggested pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians earlier than turning into Donald Trump’s marketing campaign chairman.
On the time, Ukrainian government launched entries from an accounting file appearing that Manafort won $12.7 million from pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. In the middle of an investigation into Russian interference in 2017, Reuters reported that the FBI used to be investigating telephone calls and textual content messages between other people with regards to Trump and other people connected to Putin, together with Medvedchuk.
Medvedchuk denies his guilt, pronouncing that Manafort handiest suggested his political birthday celebration at the election technique.
His switch to Russia most probably method he’s going to no longer stand trial on fees introduced towards him in Ukraine and is probably not interrogated by means of investigators from different international locations investigating Russian machinations.
Zelenskiy’s adviser Andriy Yermak stated in a remark that it used to be a profitable deal and that Medvedchuk had “already given all of the proof he may.”
© 2022 The New York Instances Corporate