Russia issues arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham over comments about Ukraine

Russian authorities object to statements of support for Ukraine made by the South Carolina Republican, who says he wears the arrest warrant as a ‘Badge of Honor.’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Appropriations hearing on the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

An edited video released by the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy puts two statements made by Sen. Lindsey Graham in separate parts of a conversation with Zelenskyy next to each other, causing outrage in Russia.

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia’s Interior Ministry on Monday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham following his comments related to the fighting in Ukraine.

In an edited video of his meeting on Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that was released by Zelenskyy’s office, Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, noted that “the Russians are dying” and described the U.S. military assistance to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent.”

Graham appeared to have made the remarks in different parts of the conversation, but the short video by Ukraine’s presidential office put them next to each other, causing outrage in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented Sunday by saying that “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators.”

The Investigative Committee, the country’s top criminal investigation agency, has moved to open a criminal inquiry against Graham, and the Interior Ministry followed up by issuing a warrant for his arrest as indicated Monday by its official record of wanted criminal suspects.

Graham is among more than 200 U.S. members of Congress whom Moscow banned last year from entering Russia.

Graham commented on Twitter, saying that “to know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy.”

“I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory,” he tweeted. “I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor.”

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