The contract was issued in response to an edited video released by Zelenskyy's office. Graham praised U.S. support for Ukraine's defense and noted that Russians are dying as Ukraine fights for its freedom. The video caused outrage in Russia as Graham's remarks were placed next to each other, despite being made in different parts of the conversation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the matter, saying, "it's hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators."
Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation against Graham, with the Interior Ministry following up with a warrant for his arrest. However, Graham considers the arrest warrant a "Badge of Honor." In a statement released Monday, he said, "To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin's regime brings me immense joy. I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine's freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory."
Graham also issued an offer to his Russian "friends" who want to arrest and try him for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals. He said, "I will submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do. Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!"
Meanwhile, Russian forces launched "Kamikaze" drone attacks on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Saturday night as the city prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding on Sunday. Russia launched 54 Iranian-made drones at Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine, but air defenses shot down 52 of the drones, according to Ukrainian officials. Two people were killed during Saturday night's attack, with falling debris landing on one 41-year-old man and another dying of unknown causes, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement.
Ukraine has been largely successful in warding off Russian missile and drone attacks in recent weeks, thanks to the deployment of U.S.-made Patriot missile systems. The defense system has proven more than a match for Russia's long-range attacks, with most of their explosives being shot down mid-flight.