1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Russia adds Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy to wanted list

May 5, 2024

The Kremlin did not specify why the Ukrainian president had been added, only that a criminal case had been opened against him. Tens of thousands are already on the list, including high-ranking politicians.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at an outdoor press conference
Volodymyr Zelenskyy says several Russian attempts to assassinate him have been foiled since Moscow launched its invasionImage: Ukraine Presidency/picture alliance/ZUMAPRESS

Russian news agencies on Saturday reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had been added to a Kremlin wanted list.

Though the Russian Interior Ministry provided no details about the charges leveled against Zelenskyy, it said that a case had been opened against him "under an article of the criminal code."

The move is seen as largely symbolic, since Zelenskyy is not on Russian soil.

Russia justified its invasion of Ukraine on the grounds that Kyiv was supposedly repressing the country's Russian-speaking citizens, with Russian President Vladimir Putin urging Kyiv's military to overthrown Zelenskyy in a national address the day after Moscow launched its "special military operation" on February 24, 2022.

Last year, Zelenskyy said that at least "five or six" attempts to assassinate him had been foiled since that time.

Ukraine's foreign ministry dismissed the reports of Zelenskyy's inclusion as evidence of "the desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy now joins Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on the Kremlin's wanted listImage: Andrew Kravchenko/AP/picture alliance

Zelenskyy joins Estonian PM Kallas on massive database

The Ukrainian president joins tens of thousands of alleged criminals on the online database.

The list also includes other high-ranking politicians, such as Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, whom the Kremlin accused of "desecrating the historical memory" of the Baltic country over the removal of Soviet-era monuments from public spaces.

Kallas called them, "symbols of repressions and Soviet occupation," that had "become a source of increasing social tensions."

On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague — which Russia does not recognize — issued an international arrest warrant for Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova for their role in the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children during the war. 

Russia claims that it was forced to "evacuate" the children for their own protection.

js/lo (AFP, dpa)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Skip next section More stories from DW