Russian intelligence calls for the arrest of two Ukrainian ministers

The Russian secret service (FSB, former KGB) has called for the arrest of two Ukrainian ministers, a Moscow court told AFP on Tuesday, accused, according to Russian media, of violating Russia’s territory.

Moscow’s Lefortovo Court said “FSB investigators have asked…to order in absentia the arrest of the Minister of Reintegration of Lands Not Under the Control of Ukraine, Irina Vereshuk, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs”.

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This request for arrest in absentia has a symbolic dimension above all else.

The court did not specify the reason given by the Russian security services, but according to the state news agency TASS, the two ministers are accused of violating Russia’s territorial integrity.

Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, then claimed in September 2022 the annexation of four more regions of Ukraine that it does not fully control.

Ukrainian officials, despite the fighting, have been moving across Ukraine, including the four regions claimed by Moscow, since late September.

Ms. Verchuk, for example, recently visited Kherson, the capital of the eponymous southern region that Ukrainian forces seized in November, causing a new setback for Russia.

Ms. Djaparova is a Crimean Tatar, and as such, as the number two in Ukrainian diplomacy, she is promoting an end to the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

The international community has overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s claims, condemning its attack on Ukraine, and even Moscow’s allies are demanding that Ukraine’s territorial integrity be respected.

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