'Exchange Viktor Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainians': Zelenskyy's offer to Russia
"I offer to the Russian Federation that you swap this person of yours for our lads and girls who are presently being detained in Russian custody," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an early morning address on Wednesday.
Ukraine reported on Tuesday that officials had apprehended fugitive pro-Russian lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk, who is considered Russia's closest supporter in the nation. According to news reports, the 67-year-old business billionaire Medvedchuk is one of Ukraine's wealthiest individuals, and he has remained controversial due to his strong links to Moscow.
According to sources, Medvedchuk considers Putin a personal friend and believes the Kremlin leader is the godfather of his youngest daughter Darya. Ukraine's security service SBU released undated and unidentified photographs of Medvedchuk, supposedly showing the business billionaire in handcuffs and wearing a Ukrainian military uniform.
Ukraine has informed Russia that it must release prisoners of war if it wants the Kremlin's most visible supporter in the nation freed, as the US is likely to deliver additional weaponry in response to Russia's clearest indication yet that the war will continue.
"I offer to the Russian Federation that you swap this person of yours for our lads and girls who are presently being detained in Russian custody," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an early morning address on Wednesday.
Hours earlier, Putin made his first public comments on the crisis in more than a week, insisting that Russia will continue its operations "rhythmically and calmly," adding that he was convinced his aims, including security, will be met.
For the first time, US President Joe Biden referred to Russia's invasion on Ukraine as genocide, stating, "We'll let the lawyers decide whether or not it qualifies, but it definitely feels that way to me."