The UK government has issued a further 14 sanctions against Russian propagandists, state media outlets and military figures – including a man dubbed “the butcher of Mariupol”.
Announcing the move on Thursday morning, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said those sanctioned have spread lies and deceit about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Among those sanctioned is Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, who has been blamed for the bombings of a children’s hospital and a drama theater where more than 1,000 civilians were sheltering at the time.
Live updates as the war in Ukraine enters its 36th day
Also on the list are Russian propagandist Sergey Brilev and Kremlin funded TV-Novosti, which owns the news channel Russia Today.
Having previously lived in the UK, Mr Brilev – a famous TV anchor on Russian state-owned media Rossiya – will no longer be able to access any of his UK assets or continue business deals.
Following Ofcom’s decision to revoke RT’s broadcasting licensethese sanctions will ensure RT will not be able to find its way back on UK televisions, the Foreign Office said.
The department added that it will also prevent companies and individuals operating in the UK from doing business with Russian state “propaganda vehicles” RT and Sputnik, and key figures in those organizations.
More than 1,000 Russian oligarchs and entities have been sanctioned since President Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine a month ago.
Ms Truss said the government will “keep on going with more sanctions” to “ensure Putin loses in Ukraine”.
“Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies,” she said in a statement.
“Britain has helped lead the world in exposing the Kremlin disinformation, and this latest batch of sanctions hits the shameless propagandists who push out Putin’s fake news and narratives.
“We will keep on going with more sanctions to ramp up the pressure on Russia and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.
“Nothing and no one is off the table.”
Other new additions to the UK’s sanctions list include:
• Aleksandr Zharov, chief executive of Gazprm-Media
• Alexey Nikolov, managing director of RT
• Anton Anisimov, head of Sputnik International Broadcasting
• Rossiya Segodnya, a media group owned and operated by the Russian government
• Vladimir Ilich Makesimenko, director at the Strategic Culture Foundation, an online journal registered in Russia
• Andrey Grigoryevich Areshev, director at the Strategic Culture Foundation, an online journal registered in Russia
• Irina Sergeyevna Bubnov, social media editor at the Strategic Culture Foundation
• Anton Sergeyevich Bespalov, social media editor at the Strategic Culture Foundation
• Natalya Petrovna Skorokhodova, human resources and finance at the Strategic Culture Foundation
• Svetlana Georgiyevna Zamlelova, chief editor of the Journal Kamerton, a news outlet affiliated with the Strategic Culture Foundation
‘We will not hesitate to act further’
These individuals will have their assets frozen and a travel ban placed on them, meaning they cannot enter the United Kingdom
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said President Putin’s propaganda machine “has been working overdrive to spread disinformation and distract from his barbaric actions in Ukraine”.
“These sanctions will target those who are complicit in covering up the Russian state’s actions,” Ms Dorries said.
“We will not hesitate to act further against individuals and organizations attempting to deceive people about this misguided war.
“The UK also has fast-tracked sanctions against another 7 individuals connected to the Strategic Culture Foundation – who were recently sanctioned by Australia for their role in spreading disinformation.
“The UK is operating closely with allies to target Russia’s oligarchs, banks and businesses.”
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Last week, the UK government imposed a further 65 more sanctions on Russian people and businesses aimed at cutting off “vital industries fueling Putin’s war machine”.
They included the Wagner Group of Russian mercenaries – believed to be tasked with assassinating Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – and Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private bank.
Others were Polina Kovaleva, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s stepdaughter, billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler (with close business links to Roman Abramovich) and Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank and close adviser to Vladimir Putin since the 1990s.