Monday, the Russian Ministry of the Interior issued an arrest warrant for South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for comments he made about the conflict in Ukraine.
Graham stated, in an edited video of his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday, that "the Russians are dying" and that U.S. military assistance to the country is "the best money we've ever spent," as NBC News reported.
While Graham appeared to have made the comments at separate points in the conversation, the brief video produced by Ukraine's presidential office juxtaposed them, sparking outrage in Russia.
In response to Graham's recent meeting the chief of a Russian state broadcaster irrationally threatened Graham.
“If [Lindsey] Graham really said that the money for the killing of Russians is the best money the U.S. ever spent — I hope that in our country, the sons or grandchildren of Sudoplatov [the lieutenant] are alive, Sudoplatov’s pupils, or the descendants of his pupils,” Margarita Simonyan said, according to a translated video posted by Russian Media Monitor.
“It's not even hard. We have his address. We have his telephone number,” Simonyan said.
According to the Russian news agency Tass, Russia's interior ministry placed Graham on a sought list for "Russophobic remarks," issuing an arrest warrant for him on Monday under the country's penal code.
Accoring to NBC News, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday that “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators.”
The country's highest criminal investigative agency, the Investigative Committee, has moved to initiate a criminal probe into Graham, and the Interior Ministry has issued a warrant for his arrest, as evidenced by the ministry's official register of sought criminal suspects published on Monday.
Graham responded to the warrant on Monday, making the following statement in response to Russia’s Interior Ministry issuing a warrant for his arrest: “I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as 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.
“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," Graham said. “Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!”
Graham is among the more than 200 members of the United States Congress whose entry into Russia was prohibited by Moscow last year.