KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO – THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022, 20:54
The exchange of Viktor Medvedchuk, the godfather of Vladimir Putin and a former MP who was accused of treason in Ukraine, took place according to a court decision and a statement written by Medvedchuk himself.
Source: Vasyl Maliuk, the Acting Head of the Security Service of Ukraine; Kyrylo Budanov, the Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate; Andriy Yermak, the Head of the Office of the President, at a briefing on the exchange of prisoners
Quote from Maliuk: "This August, relevant legislative changes took place, and the legislator helped us.
The grounds [of exchange] are Medvedchuk's statement, as well as the decision of the coordination centre headed by Kyrylo Budanov. The investigative unit of the Security Service of Ukraine, as well as the Prosecutor's Office, received an initiative letter from him [Budanov – ed.].
After that, a prosecutor from the Prosecutor General’s Office applies to the court of first instance, where the case is under consideration, and the court makes a decision. That happened the day before yesterday, and it served as the appropriate legal basis for the exchange we had made yesterday."
Details: In turn, Kyrylo Budanov, the Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate expressed his opinion "from the point of view of intelligence", saying that Medvedchuk is someone most needed by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (the FSB).
"At this stage, Medvedchuk is most needed by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation itself, and not by anyone in particular. He is the person who used to run the financing of many agent networks here – in general, the financing of certain officials and the filling of the secret budget of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. They really need him. He is a tool of both influence and money laundering. This is the main reason why they fought so hard for him," says the head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate.
At the same time, Andriy Yermak, the head of the President's Office, was asked why Russia is interested in Medvedchuk; Yermak replied that "this [man] is a very powerful carrier of information for them."
On 21 September, as part of prisoner swap with the Russian occupiers, Ukraine succeeded in releasing 215 Ukrainian defenders, including 10 foreigners. The Ukrainian businessman and pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is the godfather of Putin’s daughter, together with 55 Russian occupiers have been returned to Russia.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Viktor Medvedchuk undergone all the investigative measures provided for by law, and "It is not a pity to trade Medvedchuk for real warriors".
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andrii Kostin, noted that the testimony of Viktor Medvedchuk, the former Ukrainian MP who was suspected of treason, has been documented, and he was transferred from a Ukrainian prison to "a bigger prison called the Russian Federation."