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Prime saboteur? SSU detains Medvedchuk in AFU camouflage uniform

Medvedchuk was wanted after escaping from house arrest on the fourth day after Russia's attack on Ukraine. Photo: The SSU press service

Medvedchuk was wanted after escaping from house arrest on the fourth day after Russia's attack on Ukraine. Photo: The SSU press service

The SSU caught the leader of the banned Opposition Platform – For Life (OPFL) party and Russian President’s crony Viktor Medvedchuk. The scandalous politician has been wanted since February 27 after escaping from house arrest.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported on Facebook about the arrest of the OPFL’s leader, a person involved in the case of treason, embezzlement of subsoil, and the transfer of secret data about Ukrainian troops. According to the head of state, the People's Deputy of Ukraine was detained as a result of a special operation.

Вelivering an evening address to the Ukrainians, Volodymyr Zelenskнy offered to exchange Medvedchuk for Ukrainian prisoners.

Quote"I propose to the Russian Federation to exchange this guy of yours for our guys and girls in Russian captivity. It is important that our law enforcement agencies and the military also consider this possibility," Zelenskyy said.

The President stressed that using military camouflage uniform looks especially cynical on the part of Medvedchuk: "He tried to disguise himself in such a way. Such a "warrior". Such a "patriot."

The SSU press service also distributed a photo of Medvedchuk in the camouflage uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and handcuffed.

The Security Service promised that such a fate awaits all pro-Russian figures and agents of the Russian special services in Ukraine.

Quote"I thank all the SSU employees, in particular, the investigators and counterintelligence officers of the Ukrainian special services, who, following the instructions of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, proved their professionalism and carried out this lightning-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation to detain Medvedchuk who is an MP so far. Not a single traitor will escape punishment and will be held accountable according to the Law of Ukraine. To the full extent, for all the crimes that their personal actions, among other things, led to," said the SSU head Ivan Bakanov.

Where and under what circumstances one of the key lobbyists of the aggressor state interests was detained and why he was in the camouflage uniform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not yet been reported.

Quote"You may be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You may be a fugitive for some time. You may even wear a Ukrainian military uniform for disguise... But will it help you escape punishment? By no means! Chains are waiting for you. And such traitors to Ukraine as you are!" Bakanov added.

Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President, claims that Medvedchuk was hiding in Ukraine because he was threatened with reprisals in Russia over the failure of the Kremlin's plans to quickly seize Kyiv.

"In order to survive, Medvedchuk today needs to hide in a Ukrainian prison. With guaranteed many years of imprisonment. In Russia, he will definitely be eliminated as a person who regularly lied about the situation in Ukraine, stole money and eventually became one of the initiators of the war." Podolyak tweeted.


Background.

On February 27, on the fourth day after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it became known that Viktor Medvedchuk had escaped from house arrest he had been under according to several proceedings. The list of charges brought against Medvedchuk included treason.

5 days before the Russian offensive, the politician's wife Oksana Marchenko left for Belarus. Subsequently, she published a video from Moscow. Also on February 21, the Bigus.Info investigative project reported, citing eyewitnesses, that a concentration of guards was noticed near the Medvedchuk estate who helped to take property out of the house.

On October 12, 2021, the court sent Medvedchuk under round-the-clock house arrest until December 7 in the case of purchasing coal from Russia through the occupied territories. Later this preventive measure was extended. The prosecution asked to set a bail of 1 billion UAH.

Since May 2021, the leader of the Opposition Platform for Life has been under round-the-clock house arrest on suspicion of treason and attempted plunder of national resources. In October, another suspicion was added — treason and assistance to the activities of a terrorist organization.

The Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv placed Medvedchuk under house arrest until March 10, 2022. The deputy was suspected of illegal trade with the ORDLO leaders.

The search for the fugitive deputy was carried out by the special forces of the SSU together with prosecutors. As Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova stated, the working hypothesis was the assumption that Medvedchuk had been hiding with one of his colleagues in the Opposition Platform for Life, so searches had been carried out in the houses belonging to the party’s MPs.

On March 18, the court allowed Medvedchuk to be arrested in absentia.

Medvedchuk is also involved in a scandal in which he appeared as a lobbyist for the Kremlin's interests. Bihus.Info project journalists published wiretapping of Medvedchuk's telephone conversations he had had during four years — from 2014 to 2017, where he had allegedly communicated with Russian officials of various levels, leaders of the so-called DPR and LPR.

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