Ukraine secret service says it has arrested top Putin ally

KYIV (REUTERS) – Ukraine’s security services said on Tuesday (April 12) that they had arrested pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is President Vladimir Putin’s closest and most influential ally in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky had previously posted a photo of a handcuffed and tired-looking Medvedchuk, who says Putin is his daughter’s godfather.

In February, kyiv said that Medvedchuk, leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, had escaped house arrest. Last year, authorities opened a treason case against Medvedchuk, who denies any wrongdoing.

“You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You may have been hiding from justice lately. You can even wear a Ukrainian military uniform to camouflage yourself,” the security services said in an online post.

“But will it help you escape punishment? Not at all! The shackles are waiting for you and the same goes for traitors to Ukraine like you.”

The publication quoted Ivan Bakanov, head of the secret services, as saying that his agents had “carried out a dangerous and ultra-fast multi-level special operation” to arrest Medvedchuk, but gave no details.

In March, Zelensky said that the Opposition Platform – For Life, which is Ukraine’s largest opposition movement, and several other smaller political parties with links to Russia had been suspended.

A Medvedchuk spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

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