Ukrainian authorities arrest pro-Russian politician

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Ukrainian authorities arrest pro-Russian politician

Ukraine s security services on Tuesday said they had arrested pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is President Vladimir Putin's closest and most influential ally in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had earlier published a picture of a tired-looking and handcuffed Medvedchuk, who said Putin is the godfather of his daughter.

In February, Kyiv said that Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform -- For Life party, had escaped from house arrest. A year ago, authorities opened a treason case against Medvedchuk, who denies wrongdoing.

You can be a pro-Russian politician and work for the aggressor state for years. You may have been hiding from justice lately. The security services said you can wear a Ukrainian military uniform for camouflage.

Will it help you escape punishment? Shackles are waiting for you and the same goes for traitors to Ukraine like you. Russia s use of chemical weapons in Mariupol was unverified, but an expected development as Moscow faces setbacks, Ukrainian general says.

The head of the secret services, Ivan Bakanov, said his operatives had conducted a lightning-fast and dangerous multi-level special operation to arrest Medvedchuk, but did not give any details.

Last month, Zelensky said that the Opposition Platform -- For Life, the largest opposition movement in Ukraine, and several other smaller political parties with ties to Russia had been suspended.

A spokesman for Medvedchuk was not immediately available for comment.