Politics

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Russia has issued arrest warrants for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as several high-ranking former officials including former President Petro Poroshenko.

The wanted list published by Moscow’s Interior Ministry was updated on Tuesday to include President Zelensky. The arrest warrant states that the Ukrainian leader is wanted over a violation of the Russian Criminal code, however, the exact alleged offence has not been published.

Russian state-run media RT suggested that the arrest warrant may be in response to unconventional tactics used by Ukraine, noting that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month in the wake of a suspected Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge that threats made by Zelensky to destroy Russian infrastructure demonstrated the “terrorist” nature of Kyiv.

The wanted list was also updated to include former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who came to power following the Western-backed 2014 Euromaidan protests described by Moscow as a coup against Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced out of office by the violent movement after seeking closer economic ties with Russia and rejecting overtures for further EU integration. As with Zelensky, the charges levied against Poroshenko have not been made public by the Kremlin.

The announcements come after multiple other former Ukrainian officials face arrest warrants issued on Friday, including former Finance Minister Aleksandr Shlapak and former central bank chief Stepan Kubiv.

The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, Aleksandr Litvinenko, also had an arrest warrant taken out against him.

The move by Moscow will likely further dampen expectations for a planned peace summit set to be held in Switzerland in the middle of June. Nevertheless, neither side appears willing to budge in the conflict, with Russia flatly rejecting Ukraine’s demands to cede back the territory it occupies before negotiations even begin.

Ukraine has also argued that freezing the lines of the conflict under a ceasefire agreement would only allow Russia to regroup and prepare for another incursion into the country at a later date.

Regardless of the tough stance from Kyiv, Russia appears set to make further territorial gains, as Moscow’s forces advance after fending off Ukraine’s much-touted Spring counteroffensive last year.

In April, recently-installed Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi admitted that the “situation on the Eastern Front has significantly worsened” following the Russian presidential election and the thawing of the ground as winter subsided.

Despite the increasingly gloomy prospects for Ukraine, Western powers, appear intent on doubling down on their support for Zelensky, led by the Biden administration, which with the help of Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, secured a further $60 billion in aid for Ukraine last month.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: or e-mail to: kzindulka@breitbart.com



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