Moscow sees no possibility of swapping the Ukrainian opposition leader, Viktor Medvedchuk, for any of Kiev’s soldiers captured during the ongoing Russian military offensive in the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Earlier, the idea was raised by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Medvedchuk “has nothing to do with Russia’s special military operation to demilitarize Ukraine,” Peskov told journalists, adding that Medvedchuk was also not a Russian citizen but a “foreign politician” and it isn’t not even clear if he wants Russia to play any role in his fate.
The Ukrainian opposition leader was arrested on Tuesday by the SBU – Ukraine’s main intelligence and security agency, founded in 1991 to replace the Soviet-era KGB. Zelensky praised the development and later suggested exchanging the politician for Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russia.
An aide to Ukraine’s interior minister then suggested beating the opposition leader into making “some confessions” before exchanging him with Russia.