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Russian court arrests ex-Ukrainian ambassador to Kazakhstan in absentia

by Martin Fornusek March 4, 2024 12:01 PM 1 min read
Petro Vrublevskyi.
Ukraine's former ambassador to Kazakhstan, Petro Vrublevskyi. Photo published on Dec. 16, 2021. (Ukraine's embassy in Kazakhstan)
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A Moscow court ordered an arrest in absentia of Petro Vrublevskyi, Ukraine's former ambassador to Kazakhstan, over his comments about killing Russian soldiers, the Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported on March 4.

Talking to a Kazakh blogger about Russia's war in an August 2022 interview, Vrublevskyi said: "We are trying to kill as many of them as possible. The more Russians we kill now, the less of them our children will have to kill."

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry summed the ambassador to issue a protest. Vrublevskyi apologized for his words, saying he made the comment in an "aggravated emotional state." President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed him from his post in October 2022.

Russian authorities now opened a criminal case regarding the former ambassador's comments and put Vrublevskyi on the federal and international wanted lists, TASS reported.

Rosfinmonitoring, Russia's financial monitoring service, included Vrublevskyi in the list of terrorists and extremists.

Since launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia opened criminal cases against present and former Ukrainian officials over "hostile" comments and actions, including military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov or former Presidential Office advisor Oleksiy Arestovych.

Russia, West fight for Kazakhstan as Astana plays both sides
On the surface, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Kazakhstan on Nov. 9 exuded an air of business as usual. The Russian leader was met at dawn on the tarmac of Astana airport by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev before being greeted by an official guard of honor. The trip coinci…
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