Putin ally held in Ukraine suggests prisoner swap for Mariupol forces - video

·1-min read
Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of Opposition Platform - For Life political party, attends a court hearing in Kyiv

(Reuters) - Pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk appealed in a video released by Ukraine's security service on Monday to be handed over to Moscow in a prisoner swap for Ukrainian forces and civilians trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Medvedchuk made the appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a video published by the SBU security service on Facebook. It was unclear how freely Medvedchuk was speaking in the video.

He said was a making a "plea for the Ukrainian side to exchange me for the defenders of Mariupol and its citizens who are there today have no opportunity for a safe exit through a humanitarian corridor."

Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, is an ally of Putin.

Medvedchuk had been placed under house arrest last year to face treason and terrorism financing charges, which he denies. He escaped a few days after the Russian invasion began in February, but was later captured by Ukraine.

(Editing by Conor Humphries)

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