A court in Moscow has issued arrest warrants in absentia for the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine after the two officials were accused of violating Russia’s territorial integrity.
According to the AFP news agency, the decision was made on December 6 after the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) requested the arrest in absentia of Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova. Two Ukrainian female politicians are accused of violating Russia’s territorial integrity.
“The request has been approved,” announced Anastasia Romanova, a spokeswoman for the Lefortovsky district court in Moscow.
In September, Russia announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine: Donetsk and Lugansk in the east and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south, after holding referendums in these regions.
However, many high-ranking Ukrainian politicians, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, still visit areas where Russia has declared annexation. On his latest trip on December 6, Zelensky visited the town of Sloviansk near the front lines.
“Eastern Ukraine is currently the most difficult front. I am honored to be here with our defense forces in Donbas. I believe that next time we will meet in Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine. as well as in Crimea,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian leader had previously visited several frontline areas, including the Kherson region in the south. Zelensky called the recapture of Kherson by Ukrainian forces “the beginning of the end of the war”.
Deputy Prime Minister Vereshchuk, the official in charge of the reintegration of Ukraine’s controlled territories, traveled to Kherson after Ukrainian forces regained control of the city in November. Ms. Vereshchuk said Ukraine had fully prepared to evacuate people who wish to leave Kherson.
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Dzhaparova, the official in charge of promoting issues related to ethnic minorities on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, called for the support of the international community. for the “liberation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine”.
Both officials are on Russia’s most wanted list. Responding to an arrest warrant issued by Russia’s security services, Ms. Dzhaparova said that Moscow had recognized “the effectiveness of my work”.
Russia is stepping up its offensive in eastern Ukraine and ramping up large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, where the fiercest fighting has taken place, Russian forces are trying to advance further and shell several cities, including Bakhmut.
Russia has been targeting Bakhmut for months but doesn’t appear to have had any significant success. Control of this city will allow Russia to launch artillery attacks on other key cities while raising the morale of soldiers.
Meanwhile, on the southern Ukrainian front, Russian forces took defensive positions, using tanks, mortars, and artillery to attack Ukrainian positions and the capital Kherson. Russia last month withdrew from the city of Kherson, turning to the defense on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river that divides Kherson province.