The Ukrainian side could exchange the People's Deputy and the head of the party Opposition Platform—For Life (OPFL) Viktor Medvedchuk, who is also the compadre of Russian President Vladimir Putin (he is a godfather of Medvedchuk's daughter), for its citizens imprisoned in Russia on one condition. As President Vladimir Zelenskyy said in an interview with the TV channel ICTV, this could have been done if Medvedchuk had Russian citizenship.
"Medvedchuk is a citizen of Ukraine, and Ukrainian legislation applies to him. On the other hand, if Russia confirmed that Medvedchuk has Russian citizenship (well, for example, it is quite possible), then we would with pleasure after this confirmation or at least a hint to it consider the possibility of exchanging Medvedchuk for real heroes and citizens of Ukraine who are not in Ukraine."
President of Ukraine
Medvedchuk reacted to Zelenskyy's idea. The MP said that he had only one citizenship.
"I did not have and do not have any other citizenship except Ukrainian. I am a citizen of Ukraine and I will be one, regardless of the illegal, criminal pressure that is being exercised against me by the authorities today. And I consider fabrication of criminal cases exclusively as illegal criminal prosecution and political repression."
Leader of the party Opposition Platform—For Life
In addition, Medvedchuk pointed out his innocence and promised to fight to "redress an injustice."
Additionally. In 2019, Ukraine extradited its citizen Volodymyr Tsemakh, a militant of the so-called DPR and a defendant in the case of the shooting down of flight MH17, to Russia, as part of a prisoner exchange on September 7. Meanwhile, prosecutors who were investigating the incident, during which 298 people had died, insisted that he remained on Ukrainian territory and that he could be interrogated. 40 MEPs also asked Zelenskyy not to extradite Tsemakh to the Russian side.
Context. Earlier this month, prosecutors filed a suspicion of high treason and aiding the activities of a terrorist organization on Medvedchuk. On October 12, the Pechersk District Court put the People's Deputy under home arrest until December 7, despite requests from the Prosecutor's Office to choose a preventive measure in the form of arrest with an alternative to bail of 1 billion UAH.
In May of this year, the Prosecutor General's Office presented him with suspicion of treason and attempted plunder of national resources. The Pechersk Court put him under home arrest until July 9, the term was subsequently extended until September 7.
The NSDC made a decision on sanctions against Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko, as well as other persons associated with him on February 19 this year.