After an altered video appeared to show US Senator Lindsey Graham celebrating the killing of Russian soldiers, Russia has issued an arrest order for him.
Following their Friday meeting in Kyiv, the president’s office of Volodymyr Zelensky posted the video, which combined two distinct events.
Senator Graham referred to aid to Ukraine as “the best money we’ve ever spent” and noted that Russian forces were “dying” while praising aid for Kiev.
The senior Republican declared that he would wear the warrant as a “Badge of Honor”.
“To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy,” Senator Graham wrote in a Twitter post on Monday. “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,” he added.
After Moscow criticized Senator Graham’s comments last week – with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov telling reporters “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators” – Ukraine uploaded the full, unedited clip to social media on Sunday.
The video showed that Senator Graham made the remarks in two different meetings, which President Zelensky’s staff later edited to look right after one another.
In the first footage, he praised the US military assistance to Ukraine as “the best money we’ve ever spent” for its contribution to the country’s ability to stave off Russian advances.
Later, in a different, unrelated footage, he noted that initially, many people thought Ukraine would survive Moscow’s assault after just three days, observing that in contrast, “the Russians are dying.”