(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)