Russia adds Zelensky to its ‘wanted’ list of criminals

Russia has added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to its list of wanted criminals, which Kiev has described as evidence of Moscow’s “desperation”..

Zelensky’s name surfaced Saturday on the Russian Interior Ministry’s “wanted” list, an Internet database of alleged criminals wanted by Russian authorities.

It said the Ukrainian leader was wanted “under an article of the criminal code,” but provided no further information.

Russian officials made no brief comment on why Zelensky had been included on the list.

According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the decision “demonstrates the desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda, which have no idea what else to come up with to attract attention.”

Moscow has been targeting Zelensky since February 2022, when Russia launched its military intervention in Ukraine.

Last year, the Ukrainian president said he was aware of at least “five or six” failed assassination attempts on his life.

The day after sending troops into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation and urged the Ukrainian military to depose Zelensky.

Russia has added several international politicians and popular figures to its wanted list, which includes tens of thousands of names.

Oleksandr Pavliuk, commander of the Ukrainian army, and Petro Poroshenko, the former Ukrainian president, were both listed in the online database on Saturday.

In February, Moscow announced it was seeking Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas over what it called the “desecration of historical memory” over the Baltic country’s decision to dismantle Soviet-era monuments.

Last year, the International Criminal Court ordered Putin’s arrest on war crimes charges stemming from the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, which Moscow denied.