Russia Issues Arrest Warrants For Ukrainian President Zelensky And Former Officials

Russia has issued arrest warrants for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and several high-ranking former officials including former President Petro Poroshenko according to Moscow’s Interior Ministry.

The ministry’s wanted list was updated on Tuesday to include Zelensky who is wanted over an unspecified violation of the Russian Criminal Code.

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

The wanted list also includes 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 after seeking closer economic ties with Russia and rejecting overtures for further EU integration.

Former Ukrainian Finance Minister Aleksandr Shlapak former central bank chief Stepan Kubiv and the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Aleksandr Litvinenko also face arrest warrants issued on Friday.

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

Despite the increasingly gloomy prospects for Ukraine Western powers led by the Biden administration appear intent on doubling down on their support for Zelensky securing a further $60 billion in aid for Ukraine last month.