Russia Issues Arrest Warrants For Ukrainian President Zelensky And Former Officials

The Russian Interior Ministry has issued arrest warrants for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and several high-ranking former officials including former President Petro Poroshenko according to the ministry’s updated wanted list released on Tuesday.

The exact alleged offense for which Zelensky is wanted has not been published but the arrest warrant states that the Ukrainian leader is wanted over a 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 with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying last month that threats made by Zelensky to destroy Russian infrastructure demonstrated the “terrorist” nature of Kyiv.

Poroshenko who came to power following the Western-backed 2014 Euromaidan protests described by Moscow as a coup against Viktor Yanukovych is also on the wanted list although the charges against him have not been made public by the Kremlin.

The announcements come after multiple other former Ukrainian officials including former Finance Minister Aleksandr Shlapak former central bank chief Stepan Kubiv and the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Aleksandr Litvinenko face arrest warrants issued on Friday.

The move by Moscow is expected to further dampen prospects for a planned peace summit in Switzerland next month as neither side appears willing to compromise with Russia rejecting Ukraine’s demands to cede back occupied territory before negotiations begin.

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