Sen. Lindsey Graham is now wanted for arrest in Russia. And the South Carolina Republican said he wants it that way.
As President Vladimir Putin’s bloody war on Ukraine enters its 16th month, Graham has stood out in the GOP — and apart from his political ally Donald Trump — with particularly cutting criticism of the Kremlin.
“I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor,” Graham tweeted Monday.
Last Friday, Graham met in Kyiv with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and told reporters the “industrial-level war crimes that have been committed against the Ukrainian people” cannot be forgiven.
The visit did not go over well in Moscow.
The Russian Interior Ministry ordered criminal proceedings against Graham under an unspecified specified section of the Russian criminal code, according to the TASS news agency, a Kremlin mouthpiece.
The Russian government also laced into Graham over comments the senator made touting American investments in Ukraine’s war effort, TASS reported.
The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed Washington and Kyiv are united by a “Nazi philosophy of hatred toward Russians,” according to TASS.
Russia has asserted across the war that it seeks Ukraine’s demilitarization and “denazification.” But the argument is confounding. Ukraine’s president is Jewish. And Russia’s brutal bombardment of Ukraine has damaged Holocaust memorials.
Graham wrote on Twitter that he would “continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory.”
“To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy,” he tweeted.
He also mockingly dared Russian leadership to join him at a neutral court.
“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 taunted on Twitter.
“Come and make your best case,” he added. “See you in The Hague!”