Two British fighters imprisoned in Ukraine ask for an exchange for the pro-Russian politician Medvedchuk

Two British fighters captured in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s troops they have appeared on Russian state television asking to be exchanged for the Ukrainian oligarch and pro-Russian politician, Oksana Marchenko, detained by the kyiv forces. The two men have asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help them return home in exchange for kyiv releasing Medvedchuk, whom the Ukrainian intelligence service showed in a video in which he also called for a prisoner exchange. Medvedchuk, in his Appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, demanded to be exchanged for fighters from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Both British, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, fought on the Ukrainian side in that port town south of Ukraine, which is now almost entirely under Russian control. Russian troops took them prisoner there.

“I would like to appeal to Government to send me back home, I would like to see my wife again”, asked Pinner in the recording. He also made a direct appeal, also on behalf of his partner, to Boris Johnson to help them. “We are looking to exchange myself and Aiden Aslin for Mr. Medvedchuk. Obviously, I would really appreciate his help in this matter,” he pleaded. “If Boris Johnson really cares about British citizens like he says he does, then it will help.“, affirmed the other combatant. For his part, Medvedchuk (who assures that Russian President Putin is his daughter’s godfather) had been placed under house arrest in May 2021 charged by kyiv of high treason and support for terrorism. Three days after Russia launched its invasion (on February 24), the Ukrainian authorities reported that the politician had escaped from his house arrest. He was arrested a few days ago when he allegedly tried to flee to Russia. His wife, Oksana Marchenko, has denounced that she would be suffering torture to extract information about Russia’s plans. Medvedchuk is deputy of the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform for Life. “I want to address the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, with a proposal to exchange me for defenders and residents of Mariupol, blocked and without safe access through humanitarian corridors,” Medvedchuk demanded, as as seen in a recording released by the Ukrainian Security Services. Last week 154 assets were seized. His arrest was celebrated by President Zelensky on social media, where he shared a photo of the opposition politician in which he appeared handcuffed. kyiv confirmed that he was wearing Ukrainian military clothing to try to hide.

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