Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Swati Bhasin
Amid Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, the war-torn country’s security services on Tuesday announced that they had arrested Kremlin’s closest and most influential ally Viktor Medvedchuk. The pro-Russian politician – who has been held – is said to be one of the richest persons in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s security services head Ivan Bakanov in an online post on Facebook 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!”
The post also mentioned how “operatives conducted a lightning-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation” without giving too many details. It also stated that “no traitor will escape punishment and will be held accountable by the Law of Ukraine.”
Also read: Ukraine war day 49| Zelensky’s message on release of pro-Putin ally: 10 points
Earlier, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy had published a photo of the tired-looking and handcuffed tycoon on his Instagram and Telegram accounts. “A special operation was carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine. Well done!” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. As per reports, he was also quoted saying, “I propose to the Russian Federation: exchange this guy of yours for our guys and girls now held in Russian captivity.”
Medvedchuk – a 67-year-old business tycoon from Ukraine is a hugely controversial figure due to his close ties with Russia. According to the news agency AFP, he considers Putin among his personal friends and says that the Kremlin leader is godfather to his youngest daughter Darya.
Also read: On Ukraine assault, Vladimir Putin says had no choice but to stop Donbas ‘genocide’
Viktor was held under house arrest due to treason charges last year. He was accused of attempting to steal natural resources from Russia-annexed Crimea, and of also sharing the Ukrainian military’s secrets with Russia. Reportedly, shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Medvedchuk went missing.
(with inputs from agencies)
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