Lavrov’s stepdaughter targeted as UK announces 65 new Russian sanctions | Russia

Russia has been hit with 65 new sanctions by the UK, in a move the Foreign Office said was designed to target “key strategic industries and individuals” as the war in Ukraine entered its second month.

Among those hit were six banks and a defense company that produces drones, as well as the Wagner Group, which Britain said had reportedly been tasked with assassinating the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The “mayor” of Melitopol, a region in south-eastern Ukraine currently under Russian military occupation, also faced sanctions for “collaboration” with the invading forces, in the first announcement of its kind.

Other individuals who had their UK assets frozen included the billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, who has close links to Roman Abramovich; Herman Gref, the chief executive of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank; and Polina Kovaleva, the Russian foreign minister’s stepdaughter, who reportedly owns a £ 4m house in London.

The foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said all were “complicit in the murder of innocent civilians” and should “pay the price”.

She added: “Putin should be under no illusions – we are united with our allies and will keep tightening the screw on the Russian economy to help ensure he fails in Ukraine. There will be no let-up. ”

The sanctions, which were also imposed on Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer, will ban all those targeted from traveling to or from the UK and freezes their assets based in the country indefinitely.

Despite four weeks passing since Russian president, Vladimir Putin, ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Truss is understood to want to keep tightening the vice around those with links to the Kremlin.

The move came while she and the prime minister, Boris Johnson, joined NATO and G7 summits in Brussels.

While the total number of people and businesses facing sanctions is now more than 1,000, government insiders have privately admitted the UK initially moved too slowly to stop some oligarchs transferring their wealth and assets out of the country before they were targeted.

Earlier this week, Labor MP Chris Bryant, who chairs the parliamentary group on Russia, told ministers: “We can not possibly think that this is a job yet done.”

He said that while the city of Mariupol continued to face barbaric attacks, “we still have not even introduced a sanctions regime which is as tough as the sanction regime on Iran”.

Bryant said the government should tackle trust funds where those who feared their assets could be frozen could move them, and impose tougher sanctions on the family members of those already targeted.

The Guardian also revealed on Wednesday that Alisher Usmanov, once said to be the UK’s richest person, had claimed to have placed hundreds of millions of pounds of his assets into an irrevocable trust, potentially leaving them outside the sanctions regime established by western governments.

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