Moscow, Apr 18 (EFE).- Russia Monday released a video of two British prisoners of war, urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate their release in exchange for pro-Russian opposition politician Víktor Medvedchuk held by the Ukrainian authorities.
The Russian forces allegedly captured the British soldiers, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, from the besieged port city of Mariupol in Donetsk, where they were fighting alongside Ukrainian forces.
“Mr. Boris Johnson, I am Shaun Pinner. A lot is going on over the last five or six weeks that I am not fully aware of. I understand Mr. Medvedchuk has been detained and we look to exchange myself and Aiden Aslin for Mr. Medvedchuk,” Pinner said in the video shown on the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
“Obviously, I would really appreciate your help in this matter.”
Pinner said that his captors had treated him well.
“I fully understand the situation that I am in. We have been fed, watered, and that is all I can say.”
Aslin also expressed the hope that Johnson would mediate their release.
Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities released a video showing Medvedchuk, an ally of President Putin and currently detained by the Kyiv authorities, urging the two countries to secure his release and exchange him for defenders and residents of the besieged city of Mariupol.
The Ukraine security service released the video in which the pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician urged Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to consider the exchange proposal.
Medvedchuk was arrested on Apr.12.
Shortly after his arrest, the Ukrainian authorities seized his 154 properties after the suspension of his party in parliament.
Zelensky announced his arrest, sparking criticism from the Kremlin.
The request for the exchange came a day after Russia issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol, asking them to surrender or die. The deadline expired on Sunday.
An estimated 100,000 citizens remain trapped in the strategic port city, unable to be evacuated as humanitarian corridors remain closed.
Medvedchuk’s wife, Oksana Marchenko, appealed to the relatives and friends of the British captives to ask Prime Minister Johnson to exchange them for her husband.
“I think that Boris needs to listen to what Oksana has said,” said Eslin, as reported by the Russian Tass news agency.
“If Boris Johnson really does care about British citizens like he says he does then he will help.”
Last week, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov condemned the arrest of the Ukrainian politician accused of treason by Kyiv.
The spokesperson recalled that “Medvedchuk is not a citizen of Russia, he has nothing to do with the special military operation.” EFE