Russia has rejected Kyiv’s proposal to exchange Ukrainian prisoners close to Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the businessman “has nothing to do with the special military operation.” “He is a foreign politician,” Peskov added. “He never had any behind-the-scenes relations with Russia,” added Peskov, 67.
Ukrainian authorities reported the arrest of businessman and pro-Russian MP Medvedchuk on Tuesday. He is considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Then Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered Moscow to exchange Medvedchuk for Ukrainians in Russian captivity.
Medvedchuk is accused, among other things, of passing on Ukrainian military secrets to Moscow. He was charged with high treason and placed under house arrest last year. Shortly after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on February 24, he went into hiding.
According to Medvedchuk, Putin is the godfather of his youngest daughter. As a deputy, Medvedchuk headed the main pro-Russian opposition group in Ukraine. He denied the allegations against him, describing them as politically motivated.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reacted with fury to Medvedchuk’s arrest and raised serious allegations against Kyiv. “Some nerds who call themselves the ‘Ukrainian government’ say they will defeat a confession from Viktor Medvedchuk, sentence him ‘quickly and justly’ and then replace them with prisoners,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday.
Kremlin accuses Biden of “distorting the situation”
Russia has also vehemently denied US allegations of genocide in Ukraine. Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, commented on US President Joe Biden’s comments, saying: “We categorically disagree with them.”
“We consider attempts to distort the situation in this way unacceptable,” Peskov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. “More than that – as we have already said – this is hardly acceptable for the President of the United States of America.”
Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing genocide over the atrocities in Ukraine on Tuesday. “I called it genocide because it’s becoming clearer and more obvious that Putin is just trying to erase the idea of being Ukrainian at all,” he said. (DPA, Agence France-Presse)
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