Viktor Medvedchuk was an oligarch of Ukraine and a key ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was executed Thursday in the prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine.
According to the Washington Post, Moscow agreed to release 10 foreign fighters fighting on the opposing side as well as 215 Ukrainians. This included more than 100 members from the Above Regiment (a paramilitary group of extreme Ukrainian right-wingers), in return for Medvedchuk, 55 Russian and proRussian fighters.
Putin is the godfather of one of the oligarchs’ daughters and they have travelled together in the past. Medvedchuk was placed under house arrest in December last year on charges of treason, looting Ukrainian resources and treason.
According to the outlet, the swap does not indicate larger negotiations or talks for a peace agreement.
The 10 foreign POWs were transferred to Saudi Arabia where officials facilitate their return to their home countries (including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Croatia). Two of the POWs are ex-servicemen Alexander Drueke (39), and Andy Hyunh (27). They were captured while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv area.
The Biden administration advised Americans against traveling to Ukraine. However, Ukrainian leaders have asked foreigners around the world to join forces to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.