Kyiv: In his early morning address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Russia to release prisoners of war if it wants the Kremlin’s most high-profile ally in the country freed. United States is expected to send more weapons after Russia’s strongest signal yet the war will grind on.
US President Joe Biden called Russia’s attack on Ukraine as genocide for the first time, saying “we’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”
Russia is repeatedly saying that they are not attacking on civilian. Russia said to discredit Russian forces, Ukrainian and Western allegations of war crimes were made up.
On Tuesday, Ukraine announced that Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, had been apprehended. In February, the authorities said he had escaped house arrest after a treason case was opened.
The pro-Russian figure, who says President Vladimir Putin is godfather to his daughter, has denied wrongdoing. A spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
In his early morning address on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “I propose to the Russian Federation: exchange this guy of yours for our guys and girls now held in Russian captivity.”
The arrest operation of Medvedchuk was carried by the operatives. On Facebook the head of Ukraine’s security service Ivan Bakanov put up a post with a photo of Medvedchuk in handcuffs, and said operatives “conducted this lightning-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation” to arrest him.
A Kremlin spokesman was cited by the Tass news agency as saying he had seen the photo and could not say whether it was genuine.
Hours earlier Putin in his public comments on the conflict in more than a week to insist Russia will “rhythmically and calmly” continue its operation, saying he was confident his goals, including on security, would be achieved.
Zelenskyy mocking Putin in his address said, “How could a plan that provides for the death of tens of thousands of their own soldiers in a little more than a month of war come about?”
Putin said that on-and-off peace negotiations “have again returned to a dead-end situation for us.”
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