Moscow is considering exchanging Ukrainian prisoners from the Azov regiment for Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and oligarch, according to Russian state media, APA reports citing CNN.
“We will study the matter," Leonid Slutsky, a Russian delegation member for the Ukraine-Russia talks, said during a visit to the occupied city of Donetsk, Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported Saturday.
Medvedchuk was detained by Ukrainian authorities in April in a "special operation", Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this year.
Announcing Medvedchuk's detention in April, Zelensky posted a photo of a handcuffed and disheveled-looking Medvedchuk wearing fatigues on Telegram, with the caption: "A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU [the Security Service of Ukraine]. Well done!"
Prior to Russia's invasion, Medvedchuk had faced allegations of treason in Ukraine and had been under house arrest. His whereabouts had been unknown in the weeks following the invasion. Some observers speculated that Medvedchuk or one of his allies might be the Kremlin's preference to lead a puppet government in Ukraine if the Feb. 24 invasion succeeded in toppling Zelensky.