© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during a media interview, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kiev, Ukraine May 26, 2023. REUTERS/Alina Smutko
By Guy Faulconbridge and Joey Roulette
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia on Sunday condemned U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham for telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a visit to Kiev that U.S. support for Ukraine was the best money Washington had ever spent and that “the Russians are dying”.
At a meeting on Friday, Zelenskiy told Graham that “now we are free.”
“And the Russians are dying,” Graham said, according to video provided by Ukraine’s presidential press service.
In the next part of the video montage, Graham says with a smile, “It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.”
The exact timeline of Graham’s remarks was unclear from video provided by Ukraine’s presidential press service.
The Ukrainian president’s office did not immediately respond to a request on Sunday for a full transcript of Graham’s remarks at the meeting.
Russia condemned Graham’s comments.
“It’s hard to imagine a greater shame for a country than to have such senators,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Shot Telegram as saying.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev called Graham, a 67-year-old Republican, a crazy old man.
“Old fool Senator Lindsey Graham said that the United States has never spent money so successfully as on killing Russians,” said Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev. “He shouldn’t have done that.”
As usual, the Russian propaganda machine is hard at work,” Graham told Reuters in an emailed statement on Sunday, referring to Medvedev’s comments about his visit to Kiev, which he used to urge Washington to send more weapons to Ukraine.
Graham said he mentioned to Zelenskiy “that Ukraine has embraced the American mantra, ‘Live Free or Die.’ It was a good investment by the United States to help liberate Ukraine from Russian war criminals.”
He added: “Mr. Medvedev, if you want the Russians to stop dying in Ukraine, withdraw. Stop the invasion. Stop the war crimes. The truth is that you and (President Vladimir) Putin do not Don’t worry about Russian soldiers,” he said. .
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in comments on Twitter on Sunday that the best investment the United States and the West could make was “in a complete and unconditional victory for Ukraine.”