The video recording of a conversation between US Senator Lindsey Graham and Ukraine’s President Zelenskyj caused a stir. Russia accuses the Republican of Russophobic statements and writes him out for investigation. However, it is doubtful whether Graham’s statements were made at all.
In protest against alleged Russophobic statements, Russia has put US Senator Lindsey Graham on the wanted list. This emerges from an entry in the database of the Russian Interior Ministry published on Monday. The Russian investigative committee had previously initiated criminal proceedings over the alleged statements, although there were considerable doubts as to their authenticity. Since Graham is outside of Russia, Moscow’s legal action is likely to be largely symbolic.
Republican Graham visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev last Friday. There was also a video of the meeting consisting of several edited sequences in which, among other things, Zelenskyj thanked the USA for its help in defending against the Russian war of aggression. According to Russian media, Graham also said at one point: “And the Russians were dying. The best money we ever spent” (roughly: “And the Russians died. Our best investment ever”).
Video with Lindsey Graham cut at crucial point
However, the word “dying” cannot be heard clearly. There is therefore an argument online as to whether he said instead that the Russians were done (“done”). There is also a pause between the two sentences because the video was cut at exactly this point.
Graham’s statements are a “disgrace to the United States,” the Russian state news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov as saying. Peskov explained on Telegram that “there is no greater shame for a country than to have such a senator.” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, accused the Americans of having “claimed to be killing Russians for a long time in the United States”. Russia’s ex-president Dmitry Medvedev also used the video circulating on Twitter to attack the US senator. “The old fool Lindsey Graham said that the US has never invested more successfully than in the murder of Russians. He shouldn’t have done that,” threatened Medvedev.
Graham, on the other hand, denied all allegations by Russia. He wanted to express his support for Ukraine, he told the news agency. “As usual, the Russian propaganda machine is working at full speed here,” said the 67-year-old. It was a good investment to help Ukraine “free it from Russian war criminals”. Graham also answered Medvedev’s criticism directly to Reuters. “If you don’t want any more Russians to die in Ukraine, you should withdraw your troops. Stop the invasion. Stop the war crimes. The truth is, you and Vladimir Putin couldn’t care less about the Russian soldiers,” Graham said .
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