Senator Lindsey Graham Faces Arrest Warrant in Russia for Ukraine Comments

Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, following the comments he made during a visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Graham met with the Ukrainian president in Kyiv on Friday, May 26.

Russia’s Interior Ministry issued the warrant on Monday in response to a video released by Zelenskyy’s office, where Graham praised U.S. support for Ukraine’s defense and mentioned the loss of Russian lives during the conflict. The video edited Graham’s remarks together and caused outrage in Russia. The edited version had Graham stating, “Russians are dying” and “best money we’ve ever spent.” 

The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, expressed disapproval, stating that having senators like Graham was a great shame for the country. As a result, Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated a criminal investigation against Graham, leading to the issuance of an arrest warrant by the Interior Ministry.

Following the Russian criticism of Graham, Ukraine responded by releasing a complete video of the meeting, which clearly demonstrated that the two remarks made by Graham were unrelated. Graham vehemently rejected the Russian critique of his support for Ukraine, asserting that his comments were merely an acknowledgment of the resilience displayed by Ukrainians in their resistance against a Russian invasion, with assistance provided by the United States.

Although Graham disagrees with the statement made by Russia, he sees the arrest warrant as a “Badge of Honor.” In a statement, he declared that he takes joy in knowing that his dedication to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime. He further pledged to stand with Ukraine until all Russian soldiers were expelled from Ukrainian territory. Graham even challenged the Russian authorities, offering to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if they were willing to arrest and try him for calling out the Putin regime as war criminals.

Meanwhile, Russian forces conducted “Kamikaze” drone attacks on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, on Saturday night, coinciding with the city’s founding anniversary celebrations. Ukraine successfully defended itself against these attacks, with air defenses shooting down 52 of the 54 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia. Unfortunately, two individuals died during the attack, one due to falling debris and the other from unspecified causes.

Ukraine has been able to fend off missile and drone attacks from Russia in recent weeks, primarily due to the deployment of U.S.-made Patriot missile systems. These defense systems have proven highly effective against Russia’s long-range attacks, intercepting and destroying the majority of incoming explosives, including Russia’s hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.