Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to exchange the pro-Russian MP and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, who was arrested by the Ukrainian secret service, for Ukrainian prisoners of war.

According to Zelenskyy, it is important “for our security forces and military to consider such a possibility”.

Medvedchuk is considered a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin and went into hiding shortly after the war began.

The SBU secret service announced on Tuesday that Medvedchuk had been arrested.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the success of the agents in a special operation on Facebook.

The SBU released photos of Medvedchuk handcuffed and wearing a Ukrainian uniform.

Pro-Russian media mogul

The big businessman and politician Medvedchuk (67) has been considered a key figure in the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv for years.

His connection to Putin sometimes allowed him to act as a mediator.

However, his political projects and the television stations he controlled represented pro-Russian positions.

Selenskyj had the transmitters closed.

In May 2021, Medvedchuk was placed under house arrest on charges of high treason.

He withdrew from this a few days before the Russian attack on Ukraine.

"No traitor will escape punishment and will be held accountable under the law of Ukraine," SBU chief Ivan Bakanov commented on the arrest.