Russia adds Zelensky to criminal "wanted" list

Moscow, Russia - Russia has added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to its list of wanted criminals, a move Kyiv dismissed as a sign of Moscow's "desperation."

Russia has added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to its list of wanted criminals, a move Kyiv dismissed as a sign of Moscow's "desperation."
Russia has added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to its list of wanted criminals, a move Kyiv dismissed as a sign of Moscow's "desperation."  © PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP

Zelensky's name appeared on Saturday on the Russian interior ministry's "wanted" list, an online database of alleged criminals sought by the Russian authorities.

It said the Ukrainian leader was wanted "under an article of the criminal code," without providing further details.

There was no immediate comment from Russian officials as to why Zelensky had been added to the list.

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Ukraine's foreign ministry said the decision demonstrated "the desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda, which are at a loss for what else to invent to garner attention."

Moscow has targeted Zelensky since the start of Russia's military offensive in Ukraine in February 2022.

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The day after sending troops into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) gave an address to the nation in which he urged the Ukrainian army to overthrow Zelensky.
The day after sending troops into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) gave an address to the nation in which he urged the Ukrainian army to overthrow Zelensky.  © GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / POOL / AFP

The Ukrainian president said last year he was aware of at least "five or six" assassination attempts against him that had been foiled.

The day after sending troops into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an address to the nation in which he urged the Ukrainian army to overthrow Zelensky.

Russia has placed several foreign politicians and public figures on its wanted list, which has tens of thousands of entries.

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The commander of Ukraine's Land Forces, Oleksandr Pavliuk, and former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko also appeared in the online database on Saturday.

In February, Moscow said it was seeking Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas for what the Kremlin said was the "desecration of historical memory" over the Baltic country's move to destroy Soviet-era monuments.

Last year the International Criminal Court ordered the arrest of Putin on war crimes charges related to the abduction of Ukrainian children – accusations rejected by Moscow.

Cover photo: PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP

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