Russia’s Interior Ministry announced on Monday that it is seeking the arrest of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) over comments made during a visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Russian authorities launched a criminal inquiry and issued an arrest warrant targeting Graham after footage of him speaking about Russian troops dying in Ukraine incensed Moscow, according to AP News.
In the short video released by Zelenskyy’s office documenting Graham’s visit on May 26, the senator says, “The Russians are dying,” then adds, “It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.”
"It’s a best money we’ve ever spent"
US Senator Lindsey Graham, during a meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called the death of Russians – the best spent of US money. pic.twitter.com/gKCc3PjSmj
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 28, 2023
The footage was visibly edited, and the full version shows Zelenskyy interjecting after the first statement, according to the Independent.
Nonetheless, the suggestion that the two statements were linked has been enough to stir up outrage.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remarked, “It’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators,” according to AP News.
Friday’s meeting was Graham’s third with Zelenskyy.
Indeed, Graham has been one of the strongest advocates of U.S. military support and taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. As The Dallas Express reported, he has consistently advocated for the Pentagon to send fighter jets to the war-stricken country.
This is also not the first time controversy swirled around Graham for remarks made about Russia.
The senator suggested in a post on Twitter in March 2022 that Putin be assassinated like Julius Caesar.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? … The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out,” the post read.
A subsequent statement from the White House noted that Graham was not speaking on behalf of the federal government, according to Politico.
“To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy,” Graham posted on Twitter in response to the arrest warrant. “I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory.”
“Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!” Graham added in the comments.
As The Dallas Express previously reported, the International Criminal Court, which sits in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant for Putin back in March for the alleged war crime of transporting Ukrainian children to Russia during the invasion.