Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is a wanted man in Russia for comments he made while visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday.
Russia’s Interior Ministry put out a warrant for Graham’s arrest on Monday in response to an edited video released by Zelenskyy’s office in which Graham praised U.S. support for Ukraine’s defense and noted that Russians are dying as Ukraine fights for its freedom.
In the video, Graham noted that “the Russians are dying” and described the U.S. military assistance to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent.”
While Graham appeared to have made the remarks in different parts of the conversation, the short video by Ukraine’s presidential office put them next to each other, causing outrage in Russia.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented Sunday by saying that “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 to be a “Badge of Honor.”
“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,” 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 out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do,” he added. “Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!”
Russian forces pummeled the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with “Kamikaze” drone attacks Saturday night as the city prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding Sunday.
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Russia launched 54 Iranian-made drones at Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine, but air defenses shot down 52 of the drones, according to Ukrainian officials. Two people were killed during Saturday night’s attack, with falling debris landing on one 41-year-old man and another person dying of unspecified causes, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement.
Ukraine has been largely successful in warding off Russian missile and drone attacks in recent weeks thanks to the deployment of U.S.-made Patriot missile systems. The defense system has proven more than a match for Russia’s long-range attacks, with the vast majority of their explosives being shot down mid-flight.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and the Associated Press contributed to this report.