Russia's Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) after a video of his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy showed him mentioning the large number of Russians who have died in the war. The edited video released by Zelenskyy's office on Friday showed the senator saying "the Russians are dying" and subsequently describing U.S. military assistance to Ukraine as "the best money we've ever spent." However, a longer video shows that the initial video released by Ukraine on Friday shortened Graham's actual remarks, implying that the two separate comments about U.S. funding and Russians "dying" were made in tandem, when they were not. The comments sparked outrage in Russia, and the country's Investigative Committee has moved to open a criminal inquiry against Graham. Russian officials were quick to attack Graham for his remarks, with Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev calling Graham "an old fool," and the head of Russian news channel RT appearing to insinuate Graham should be assassinated.
Graham has been consistently outspoken about the importance of the U.S. supporting its Ukrainian ally, and after a visit to Ukraine last week, he called on the U.S. to increase support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, by sending more weapons. Graham is arguing that if the U.S. doesn't fully support Ukraine, enough to win the war, that could send a signal to Beijing that China can take Taiwan. The Biden Administration and NATO allies have imposed tight sanctions on Russia, including personal sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top officials. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than a year ago, the U.S. has offered Ukraine military, financial and humanitarian support, directing $75 billion, in military and humanitarian aid, to Ukraine.