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Russia, Ukraine borrow call for prisoner exchange

Russia, Ukraine borrow the call for prisoner exchange - Photo 1.

Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk appeared in the video broadcast on April 18 – Screenshot Ukriform

On April 18, Ukraine’s security services posted a video of Medvedchuk on Facebook, in which he sent an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Medvedchuk, also a financier, wants to be given to Moscow in exchange for Ukrainians trapped in the Russian encirclement of Mariupol.

Earlier, on April 12, Zelensky announced that Mr. Medvedchuk, Putin’s closest “ally” in Ukraine, had been detained by the country’s law enforcement forces and proposed that Russia exchange prisoners for Mr. Medvedchuk. . The politician faces charges of treason, stealing natural resources and giving Ukraine military secrets to Russia.

Mr. Medvedchuk is the leader of the Opposition Platform for Life Party, the largest opposition party in Ukraine and was suspended by the Kiev government in March 2022. The tycoon was put under house arrest but escaped three days after Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

The Kremlin had previously rejected a proposal to exchange Ukrainian prisoners for Mr. Medvedchuk, saying he was “not a Russian citizen”.

Russia, Ukraine borrow the call for prisoner exchange - Photo 2.

Two British citizens appeared on Russian television on April 18 – Photo: Sputnik

However, on April 18, Russian television broadcast an appeal from two British citizens believed to be mercenaries for Ukraine to surrender to Russian forces. According to Sputnik news agency, two people named Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin asked the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to help bring them home.

“I know Mr. Medvedchuk has been arrested and we would like to exchange me and Aiden Aslin with Mr. Medvedchuk. I would be very grateful if you (Johnson) would help us,” said Pinner.

Last weekend, a woman named Ang Wood, Aiden Aslin’s mother, told Telegraph of England that she recognized her son in a video that went viral on social media earlier. Ms. Wood also appealed for her son’s release.

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