Viktor Medvedchuk, Ukrainian MP from pro-Russian OPZH party and a personal friend and ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, was captured while trying to flee Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported via the Telegram messenger on April 13.
Zelensky said it was symbolic that Medvedchuk had been caught on Cosmonautics Day.
He said the pro-Russian politician was dressed in the uniform of the Ukrainian Army when captured.
"He's been in hiding for 48 days. And finally he decided to try to escape from our country,” said Zelensky.
“I find his use of military camouflage particularly cynical. He tried to disguise himself like that. What a warrior. What a patriot."
Zelensky also suggested that, under the laws of war, Medvedchuk could be exchanged for Ukrainians who had been taken prisoner by the invaders.
"Well, if Medvedchuk himself chose a military uniform, he is subject to the laws of war. I'm offering Russia to swap this guy of yours for our guys in Russian captivity. Therefore, it's important that our law enforcement agencies and the military also consider such a possibility," he said.
Late on April 12, Zelensky posted a photo of Medvedchuk being detained by the SBU security service of Ukraine.
According to Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to Zelensky's chief of staff, Medvedchuk was apprehended not in Kyiv, but elsewhere.
In 2021, Medvedchuk was charged with high treason and placed under house arrest. On Feb. 27, he escaped and had been on the run since. According to lawyers, he was in a "safe place."
Medvedchuk's wife, Oksana Marchenko, left for Belarus several days before the Russian invasion, and then recorded a video in Moscow shortly before Russian tanks started to cross the border into Ukraine.