Ukraine says it’s arrested fugitive pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, seen as President Vladimir Putin’s closest ally in the country.
Ukraine’s security service SBU announce a photo supposedly showing mr Medvedchuk in handcuffs and wearing Ukrainian military fatigues.
He had been underneath confinement within the capital Kyiv on suspicion of treason – however at liberty soon once Russia invaded country on twenty four Feb.
Mr Medvedchuk, 67, denies wrongdoing.
In his nightly video address to the state on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered to exchange mr Medvedchuk for Ukrainian “boys and women who are currently in Russian captivity”.
He earlier wrote on Facebook that mr Medvedchuk had been arrested after a “special operation” by the SBU.
The security service said in a statement: “You is a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. you may are hiding from justice lately. you can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform for camouflage.
“But can it help you escape punishment? Not at all! Shackles are waiting for you and same goes for traitors to ukraine like you.”
Mr Medvedchuk, who says President Putin is godfather to his daughter, may be a wealthy man of affairs who leads the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – for life party.
He has repeatedly described the accusations against him as “political repression”.
For years he was tolerated in Ukrainian political circles as a result of he was seen as a vital channel of communication with the Kremlin, however he was charged with treason in may 2021.
Russia on Tuesday same it had been checking info regarding the rumored arrest.
Mr Putin’s voice Dmitry Peskov said this was as a result of “so several fakes are currently coming back from Ukraine” that “now everything has to be checked”.
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