UK sanctions more than 40 people over Russian invasion of Ukraine, including justice minister

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The UK Government has announced Tuesday sanctions against more than 40 people in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, unleashed on February 24 on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko, 29 governors of the country and several senior officials of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Thus, it has highlighted that those sanctioned include the prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Vitali Khotsenko, and the deputy chairman of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Vladislav Kuznetsov, whom it accuses of “undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine” and of “being sent to implement Russia’s policies in the invaded region, supporting Putin’s plans to illegally annex more Ukrainian territory and using fake referendums to falsely legitimize its occupation.”

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The British Executive highlighted in its statement that 29 Russian governors have been sanctioned and said that all of them “have been ordered by the Kremlin to deliver funds to the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, facilitating Russian occupation and attempting to wrest territory from Ukraine.”

In this regard, he has highlighted that among those sanctioned are also Chuichenko and Russian Deputy Justice Minister Oleg Sviridenko, whom he accuses of “repressing their own people by acting against those who speak out against the war.” “They are expanding their power to repress Russian citizens’ freedom of speech by passing a new law that expands the criteria on ‘foreign agents’ to include anyone whom the authorities declare to be ‘under foreign influence,'” he has explained.

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Among those sanctioned are also Sarvar and Sanjar Ismailov, cousins of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who maintains close ties to the Kremlin, while noting that “both have significant interests in the UK and are believed to own homes in Highgate and Hampstead Heath.”

The UK has said it is also imposing sanctions, in coordination with the European Union (EU), against two groups of Syrian nationals, including one responsible for recruiting citizens of the Arab country to fight in the war in Ukraine. The second group is accused of supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia.

“We will not remain silent and watch as Kremlin-appointed state actors repress the people of Ukraine and the freedom of their own people,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has maintained. “We will continue to impose tough sanctions against those who seek to legitimize Putin’s illegal invasion until Ukraine prevails,” she has concluded.

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