Zelenskiy proposes swapping pro-Russian politician for prisoners, Biden stands by ‘genocide’ remark

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April 13 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday proposed swapping senior pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk for male and female prisoners of war being held by Moscow’s forces.

In an early morning address, he said it was “important for our security forces and military forces to consider such a possibility.” Ukraine’s security services on Tuesday said they had arrested Medvedchuk, who is President Vladimir Putin’s closest and most influential ally in Ukraine.

 A handout photo made available by the Ukrainian Presidential Office Telegram channel shows Viktor Medvedchuk, the Ukrainian politician and a leader of the Opposition Platform-For Life party, after he was detained in Kyiv, Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden stood by his characterization of Russia’s actions in Ukraine as “genocide,” saying Russian President Vladimir Putin “is trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian.”

“I called it genocide because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian and the evidence is mounting,” Biden told reporters as he prepared to board Air Force One to return to Washington after an event on the economy in Iowa.

“We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me,” he said.

Meanwhile, the head of Russian state-controlled propaganda television news network RT, Margarita Simonyan, has described how Russia’s covert operations continue the Kremlin’s info-wars by circumventing various blocks by YouTube and other media platforms.

“We’re now creeping down partisan roads so that no one even knows its us,” the editor-in-chief said.

“We’re not doing it under our brand,” Simonyan said alluding to the notion that Russian propaganda continues to be spread in the west, while hiding the fact that it’s Russian propaganda.

“I won’t divulge any other details,” she added.

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