Prisoner exchanges are the purview of the military, which means that any possible requests to swap Ukrainian captives from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, for Russian POWs, would have to go through the defense ministry, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
And when asked by journalists about jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, he reiterated that Russia had no intention of doing a swap, despite the politician’s request for such action.
“Medvedchuk is a Ukrainian citizen who has nothing to do with Russia and is not military,” Peskov told the media. Ukrainian soldiers and members of the Neo-Nazi Azov National Guard unit “are a different category” he added.
Medvedchuk led the biggest opposition faction in the Ukrainian parliament before the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky launched a crackdown on its opponents. The politician is currently in the custody of the SBU, Ukraine’s domestic security agency.