Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Swati Bhasin
The arrest of the Kremlin’s one of the closest and most influential ally, Viktor Medvedchuk, by Ukraine is said to have angered Russia. Medvedchuk – the pro-Russian politician – who is believed to be one of the richest persons in Ukraine – was held on Wednesday in what was defined as “a special operation”, sparking enthusiasm in Kyiv, but irritation in Moscow.
Reportedly, the 67-year-old business tycoon from Ukraine considers Putin among his personal friends and says that the Kremlin leader is godfather to his youngest daughter Darya.
Ukraine’s security services head, Ivan Bakanov, in a (roughly translated) post on Facebook on Wednesday, wrote, “You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You can hide from justice these days. You can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform for camouflage … But will it help you escape punishment? No way! The shackles are waiting on you. And on the same traitors of Ukraine as you! Pro-Russian traitors and agents of the Russian intelligence services, remember – your crimes have no statute of limitations. And hideout wherever we find you! “
Also read: Who is Viktor Medvedchuk? Putin ally arrested by Ukraine
On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had also published a photo of the tycoon on his Instagram and Telegram accounts. Zelensky had also proposed to the Russian Federation stating “exchange this guy of yours for our guys and girls now held in Russian captivity.”
Here are the five latest updates post Viktor Medvedchuk’s arrest:
- According to analysts, as per news agency AP, Medvedchuk will become a valuable pawn in the Russia-Ukraine talks to end the war.
- Deputy chairman of Russia’s security council and former president Dmitry Medvedev posted threats to Ukrainian authorities on the messaging app Telegram after Medvedchuk’s arrest. He warned the authorities to “carefully look around and firmly lock the doors at night.”
- According to an analyst at the Penta Center Volodymyr Fesenko, the fate of Medvedchuk will become a subject of bargaining and one of the points of undercover agreements between Kyiv and Moscow, as quoted by the news agency AP.
- The captive Russian-ally’s wife, Oksana Marchenko, has appealed to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky for her husband’s release, reported AP. She also asked Zelensky to give a “guarantee” that Medvedchuk’s life would not be in danger.
- On Wednesday, the head of Ukraine’s national security agency Ivan Bakanov said that the Russian security service had planned to evacuate Medvedchuk to Moscow through the disputed territory of Transnistria in Moldova – where Russia has stationed its troops.
(With inputs from AP)
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