The UK government on Monday, Sep. 26, sanctioned 92 Russian individuals and entities after President Vladimir Putin’s regime held plebiscites in separatist areas of Ukraine and stepped up threats against the West.
“Sham referendums held at the barrel of a gun cannot be free or fair and we will never recognise their results,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
“Today’s sanctions will target those behind these sham votes, as well as the individuals that continue to prop up the Russian regime’s war of aggression,” he said.
Among the individuals sanctioned were Sergei Yeliseyev, Moscow’s head of government in the Kherson region of Ukraine and a vice admiral in the Russian navy, who defected from Ukraine’s navy in 2014.
Russian-backed leaders in Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia were also targeted, as was IMA Consulting, which the UK government dubbed “Putin’s favourite PR agency”.
Another Russian company blacklisted was Goznak, which the statement said holds a monopoly on production of Russian state documents in the annexed territories.
The ongoing plebiscites were announced after a Ukrainian counteroffensive seized most of the northeastern Kharkiv region back from Russian control.
The four regions’ integration into Russia would represent a major escalation of the conflict.
Putin last Wednesday made a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear arms, in a speech announcing the mobilisation of reservists following the Ukrainian battlefield advance.
Britain has now sanctioned more than 1,200 individuals and over 120 entities from Russia, including over 120 oligarchs, since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in late February.
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