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Russia issues arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham

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."

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.

Later, Zelenskyy's office issued video of Graham's actual remarks showing the shorter version had been edited. The Reuters news agency made the video available.

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy shakes hands with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomes U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) before their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 26, 2023, in this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

The longer version shows Graham also saying, "This is the 457th day of a war that was supposed to last three days. You amaze me, your country amazes me."

"It's about our people," Zelenskyy replies. "And of all your people, your people help our people - all our appreciation."

Graham then says, "It's just ... you remind me of our better selves in America. There was a time in America that we were this way: fighting to the last person, we were going to be free or die."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday 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, a leading Senate foreign policy hawk has been a staunch supporter of strong U.S. support of Ukraine.

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