WP: Putin exchanged the “Azov” for Medvedchuk because of his loyalty, the FSB was against it

Kostia Andreikovets

Russian President Putin approved the past large exchange of prisoners with Ukraine despite the objections of the FSB, which understood the negative reputational consequences. The leader of the Russian Federation paid great attention to the defense of Viktor Medvedchuk, a deputy of the banned OPZZh, who is accused of treason in Ukraine.

The Washington Post writes about this with reference to American and Ukrainian officials familiar with this issue.

A high-ranking official of the State Department called the release of Medvedchuk indicative since the Russian Federation agreed to hand over to Ukraine the fighters and commanders of the "Azov" regiment, who were labeled "cruel Nazis" in the Russian Federation. Even Russian propagandists were extremely surprised by such an exchange.

Andrew Weiss, the researcher of Russia and author of a forthcoming biography of Putin, said the Medvedchuk exchange coincided with Putinʼs practice of "encouraging loyalty."

"Putin is known to have a very sentimental streak, and he stays loyal to people well past their sell-by date," he said.