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Russia’s FSB requests arrest of Ukrainian ministers

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The Russian security services (FSB) have requested the arrest of two Ukrainian ministers, a Moscow court told AFP, after state media said they had been accused of violating Russia’s territorial integrity.

Russia said in September it had annexed four regions in Ukraine that its forces only partially controlled after holding so-called referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk in the east and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south.

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A Moscow court spokesperson told AFP that FBS investigators had “requested the arrest ... in absentia” of Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova.

The court did not confirm the charges to AFP, but Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that they were accused of “violating the territorial integrity of Russia.”

Senior Ukrainian political figures including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have travelled across the country including to the regions Moscow claimed to have annexed despite ongoing fighting.

In his latest trip, Zelenskyy on Tuesday visited the town of Sloviansk near the frontline in the Donbas region.

Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s minister for the reintegration of the occupied territories, travelled to Kherson after Kyiv’s forces recaptured the city in November.

Dzhaparova, a Crimean Tatar, promotes issues related to the ethnic minority on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia is 2014 and calls on international support for the “de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.”

Both women have been put on Russia’s wanted list, RIA Novosti reported.

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