Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., is a wanted person in Russia for comments he made while visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday.
Russia’s Interior Ministry issued a warrant for Graham’s arrest on Monday in response to an edited video released by Zelenskyy’s office in which Graham praised US support for Ukraine’s defense and cited that Russians are dying while Ukraine fights for its independence.
In the video, Graham noted that “the Russians are dying” and described US military aid to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent.”
While Graham appeared to have made the statements in different parts of the conversation, a short video by the Ukrainian presidential office placed them next to each other, sparking outrage in Russia.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Sunday saying “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators,” according to the Associated Press.
Russia’s Investigative Committee moved to open a criminal investigation against Graham and the Interior Ministry followed up with a warrant for his arrest.
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Graham considers the arrest warrant a “Badge of Honor.”
“Knowing that my commitment to Ukraine has incurred the wrath of Putin’s regime brings me great joy. I will continue to stand with and for the independence of Ukraine until every Russian soldier is expelled from the territory of Ukraine,” Graham said in a statement Monday.
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“Finally, here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling the Putin regime war criminals: I will submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do,” he added. “Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!”
Russian forces hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv with a “Kamikaze” drone attack on Saturday night as the city prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding on Sunday.
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Russia launched 54 Iranian-made drones in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine, but air defenses shot down 52 of the drones, according to Ukrainian officials. Two people were killed in the attack on Saturday night, with falling debris landing a 41-year-old man and another dying of unspecified causes, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement.
Ukraine is more successful in fending off Russian missile and drone attacks in recent weeks thanks to the deployment of US-made Patriot missile systems. The defense system proved to be more than a match for long-range Russian attacks, with most of their explosives being shot down in mid-flight.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and the Associated Press contributed to this report.