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Ukraine announces arrest of fugitive Putin relative

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Ukrainian authorities announced on Tuesday that Ukrainian MP and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and on the run since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had been arrested following a “special operation”. .

Ukrainian MP and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and on the run since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has been arrested following a “special operation”, Ukrainian authorities announced on Tuesday . “A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU (Ukrainian security services, editor’s note). Bravo!”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on his Telegram channel, accompanying his message with a photo of Viktor Medvedchuk, handcuffed and dressed of a Ukrainian army uniform.

Ukrainian security services confirm arrest

The SBU later confirmed his arrest, without giving details. “You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You can be on the run. You can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform to disguise yourself… But will that help you escape the punishment? Not at all!”, commented the security services on Telegram.

The message is accompanied by a statement from the head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov, who thanks his subordinates for having successfully led “this exceptional and dangerous mission”.

12th richest in Ukraine and known for his ties to Putin

Viktor Medvedchuk, 67, had been under house arrest since May 2021 after being charged with “high treason” and “attempted looting of natural resources in Crimea”, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. On February 26, two days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian police had noted his disappearance during a control visit. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on his arrest to Russian news agencies, saying “there is a lot of ‘fake’ coming from Ukraine” and saying “this needs to be checked first “.

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Viktor Medvedchuk, 12th fortune in Ukraine in 2021 with 620 million dollars according to Forbes magazine, is known for his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin who is, according to the person concerned, the godfather of one of his daughters. He is the founder of the pro-Russian party “Opposition Platform-For Life”, which had around 30 deputies in the Ukrainian Parliament before being banned in March, after the Russian attack.

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