Russia on Wednesday informed Ukraine to “be careful” after its former Soviet neighbour captured pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk, turning down Kyiv’s provide of a swap with a warning that these holding him would possibly quickly be detained themselves.
Medvedchuk, considered one of President Vladimir Putin’s shut allies in Ukraine, was proven handcuffed and carrying the uniform of a Ukrainian soldier on Tuesday in an image tweeted by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Zelenskiy proposed swapping Medvedchuk, whereas Ukraine’s SBU home safety service solid him as a traitor whose future could be in shackles.
“These freaks who name themselves the Ukrainian authorities say that they wish to beat testimony out of Viktor Medvedchuk, ‘rapidly and pretty’, convict him, after which alternate him for prisoners,” Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Safety Council, mentioned.
“These individuals ought to be careful and lock the doorways effectively at night time to ensure they don’t grow to be the people who find themselves going to be exchanged themselves,” mentioned Medvedev, a detailed Putin ally who served as Russian president from 2008 to 2012.
In February, Ukraine mentioned Medvedchuk, chief of the Opposition Platform – For Life celebration, escaped from home arrest. Authorities final yr opened a treason case in opposition to Medvedchuk, who denies wrongdoing.
The Kremlin mentioned the court docket case in opposition to Medvedchuk was politically motivated and denied that he had any communication again channel to the Russian management.
“He had no backstage relationship with Russia,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov informed reporters on Wednesday.
“We are going to comply with the destiny of Viktor Medvedchuk – and we additionally name on European politicians to do the identical as they’re at all times so involved about freedom of speech,” Peskov mentioned.
Ukraine’s SBU warned all “pro-Russian traitors and brokers of the Russian secret companies” that they might be dropped at justice “for all of the crimes of the current day”.
Hundreds of individuals in Ukraine have been killed and practically 10 million displaced after Russia despatched troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, elevating fears of a wider confrontation between america and Russia – the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
Putin says what he calls the “particular navy operation” in Ukraine is critical as a result of america was utilizing Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow needed to act to defend Russian-speaking individuals in Ukraine in opposition to persecution.
Ukraine says it’s preventing in opposition to an imperial-style land seize and dismisses Putin’s claims of genocide as nonsense.
Requested in regards to the Ukrainian proposal to swap Medvedchuk for Ukrainians being held by Russia, Peskov mentioned Medvedchuk was a Ukrainian citizen and a international politician.