Russia puts Ukraine’s Zelenskiy on wanted list

May 5, 2024 - 10:14 AM
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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 29, 2024. (Reuters/Thomas Peter/File Photo/File Photo)

 Russia has opened a criminal case against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and put him on a wanted list, the state news agency TASS reported on Saturday, an announcement Ukraine dismissed as evidence of Moscow’s “desperation”.

TASS reported that the Russian Interior Ministry database showed Zelenskiy was on a wanted list but gave no further details.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry noted Russian President Vladimir Putin was himself subject to arrest under an International Criminal Court warrant.

“We would like to remind you that unlike the worthless Russian announcements, an International Criminal Court warrant for the arrest of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on suspicion of war crimes is quite real, and subject to implementation in 123 countries,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said the Russian announcement was “evidence of the desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda, which can think of no other way to attract attention”.

Russia has issued arrest warrants for a number of Ukrainian and other European politicians since the start of the conflict with Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian police in February put Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Lithuania’s culture minister and members of the previous Latvian parliament on a wanted list for destroying Soviet-era monuments.

Russia also issued an arrest warrant for the International Criminal Court prosecutor who last year prepared Putin’war crimes warrant.

— Reporting and writing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Giles Elgood