Russia ignores special negotiations on Mariupol and is not interested in Medvedchuk

Olena Roshchina – Friday, 29 April 2022, 08:48 Mykhailo Podoliak, Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that Russia has no interest in Mariupol talks regarding the safe evacuation of those currently at the Azovstal plant and has so far ignored a proposition that they exchange Ukrainian prisoners for Viktor Medvedchuk, the godfather of Putin’s children. Source: Mykhailo Podoliak in a Radio Svoboda interview according to Podoliak: “There is no doubt that there is still a possibility [that the special round of negotiations will take place]. It is a matter of for us to be able to evacuate our people: not just the civilians, but the military too, who today represent Ukraine’s invincibility. The goal of the Russian Federation is the complete destruction of Mariupol…Unfortunately, the Russian Federation continues to ignore all of this [i.e., Ukraine’s propositions to evacuate civilians and military personnel from Mariupol], because Russia is currently suffering reputational losses. So as far as I understand, it makes no difference to them whether they kill 1,000 civilians or 10,000.” Details: Medvedchuk’s fate is not a helpful negotiating tool in the question of Mariupol evacuation. Podoliak said that although some people “branded” Medvedchuk as A powerful political actor important to the Russian Federation, “it turned out that they don’t need him at all.” According to Podoliak: “From the point of view of their propaganda, the value of breaking Mariupol’s defence, destroying it and killing Almost all of its defenders exceeds the value of getting Medvedchuk or anyone else back. So unfortunately Medvedchuk is not an asset. Unfortunately, we cannot exchange him for our boys. So all existing propositions remain on the metaphorical negotiating table, including the possibility of exchanging Medvedchuk. But we see Russia’s reaction; for them Medvedchuk is not a valuable asset. At all.”

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