Graham lands on Moscow's wanted list over 'dying Russians' remarks
Zelenksy's office releases the full video after the edited version spiraled criticism over Graham's comments regarding Russians dying.
Russia placed US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on a wanted list, over remarks he made during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenksy in Kiev on Friday, in which Graham appeared to be hailing the killing of Russians.
The Senator's comments were exposed in a video of the meeting released by Zelenksy's team.
#Ukrainian President's office published an edited video of US Senator #LindseyGraham in which he can be heard saying, "The Russians are dying" and then saying #US support was the "best money we've ever spent."— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 29, 2023
After #Russia criticized the remarks, #Ukraine released a full video… pic.twitter.com/4o82b7HojL
Ukraine's presidential office initially released an edited version of the footage, where Graham was shown saying, "The Russians are dying," followed by stating that the US funding of Kiev is the "best money we've ever spent."
Lindsey Graham: "The Russians are dying... it's the best money we've ever spent." pic.twitter.com/Vn1THUjHmO— COMBATE |🇵🇷 (@upholdreality) May 27, 2023
The statements drew heavy criticism on social media after they went viral, prompting Russia's investigative committee to open a criminal case against the Senator.
The committee said Graham “declared the financial involvement of the United States in causing the death of Russian citizens.”
Kiev later released the full version, revealing that, despite Graham actually praising the killing of Russians and considering the investment in the Ukraine war the "best money" that the US spent, the statements were not made consecutively in that context.
Observers considered that the Ukrainian government possibly chose to release the incomplete version first to increase the rift between Washington and Moscow and leverage Zelensky's position when asking for more weapons and military equipment, especially now that he is requesting a rapid supply of Western fighter jets - most notably American F-16s.
The US Senator said in response to criticism that he only praised Ukraine's fight against Russia with support provided by the United States.
They [Ukranians] remind us "our better selves in America," said the American official.
"There was a time in America that we were this way: fighting to the last person, we were going to be free or die."
"Now you are free," the Ukrainian president responded. "And we [Ukrainians] will be."
To which Graham replied, "And the Russians are dying."
Peskov and other Russian officials directly linked Graham's praise of the benefits of US assistance to his comments on Russians dying in the conflict.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said commenting on the Senator's words saying, "It’s difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators."
On his part, Russia's Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said, "The old fool Senator Lindsey Graham said that the United States has never spent money so successfully as on the murder of Russians."
"He shouldn't have done that."