Ukraine announces the arrest of oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a close associate of Vladimir Putin

Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk alongside Vladimir Putin in October 2021. AP

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Ukrainian MP and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and on the run since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has been arrested following a "special operation", Ukrainian authorities announced on Tuesday . 

Advertisement

Read more

 A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU

(Ukrainian security services, editor’s note).

Cheer! 

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on his Telegram channel, accompanying his message with a photo of Viktor Medvedchuk, handcuffed and dressed in a Ukrainian army uniform.

The SBU later confirmed his arrest, without giving details.

“ 

You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years.

You may be on the run.

You can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform to dress up... But will it help you escape punishment?

Not at all ! 

“commented the security services on Telegram.

The message is accompanied by a statement from the head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov, who thanks his subordinates for having successfully led “

 this exceptional and dangerous mission

 ”.

Volodymyr Zelensky

offered on Tuesday evening in Moscow to exchange Viktor Medvedchuk for Ukrainians in captivity in Russia.

 I propose to the Russian Federation to exchange this man for our boys and girls who are currently in captivity in Russia.

That is why it is important that our law enforcement and military also consider this possibility

 ,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address posted on Telegram.

“ 

And may Medvedchuk be an example for you.

Even the former oligarch did not escape.

Not to mention the far lesser criminals of the Russian hinterland.

We will have everyone

 ,” added the Head of State.

Close to Putin

Viktor Medvedchuk, 67,

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 had noted his disappearance during a control visit.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on his arrest to Russian news agencies, saying " 

there is a lot of

'fake' 

coming from Ukraine

 " and saying " 

this needs to be checked first.

"  ".

Viktor Medvedchuk, 12th fortune in Ukraine in 2021 with 620 million dollars according to Forbes magazine, is known for his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin who is, according to the person concerned, the godfather of one of his daughters.

He is the founder of the pro-Russian party "Opposition Platform-For Life", which had around thirty deputies in the Ukrainian Parliament before being banned in March, after the Russian attack.

(

With

AFP)

© RFI

Newsletter

Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application

google-play-badge_EN

  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • Volodymyr Zelensky

  • Vladimir Poutine

Keywords: