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As part of the exchange of prisoners, Kyiv handed over to Moscow the politician Viktor Medvedchuk and 55 Russian soldiers. This was announced on the air of the telethon Security Service of Ukraine and head of the President’s Office Andrey Ermak.
By words Yermak, Medvechuk were exchanged for 215 Ukrainian soldiers (list), including the defenders of the Mariupol plant “Azovstal” and the command Regiment “Azov”. Also, 10 foreigners who fought on the side of Ukraine and were captured were returned.
in the SBU notedthat the exchange of Medvedchuk does not prevent the consideration of his cases in court
“It was a difficult process. 215 released is a significant result, which was the result of the right tactics using a position of strength, including the results of the front-line work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ”wrote the head of the office of the Ukrainian president in his telegram channel.
Vladimir Zelensky himself talked with the Azov command via video link. He reportedthat, under the terms of the exchange, five regiment commanders will be in Turkey until the end of the war. The military will be under the personal protectorate of Turkish leader Recep Erdogan.
“We are bringing our people home. This is definitely a victory for our state, for the whole society. And most importantly – for 215 families who will be able to see their loved ones in safety, ”- declared Zelensky video message.
The Turkish President, in turn, notedthat the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kyiv took place with the mediation of Ankara and is an important step towards ending the war.
In Russia, these messages were not commented on.
The leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, Viktor Medvedchuk, is known as a pro-Russian politician. The media call “the godfather of Vladimir Putin.” In Ukraine, he was charged with treason on two counts and attempted “plunder of national resources” for running a mining business in Crimea. Medvedchuk was placed under house arrest, from which he reportedly escaped in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On April 12, Ukrainian authorities announced that Medvedchuk had been detained.