Russian generals named on new UK sanctions list

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says Britain is 'unyielding in our support for Ukraine'

Smoke billows from the Azovstal steel plant in southern port city Mariupol, where Ukrainian defenders are making a stand. AFP

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New sanctions are being imposed on Russian generals and business leaders supporting Russia's war in Ukraine, the UK announced on Thursday.

The new sanctions were filed after British intelligence revealed what it called the intentional bombing of critical and civilian infrastructure in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

“The depravity of Russia’s assault on the people of Ukraine is plain for all to see. They are deliberately targeting hospitals, schools, and transport hubs in Mariupol and beyond — just as they did in Chechnya and Syria,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

“The UK is unyielding in our support for Ukraine and in holding Putin and his regime to account. Today’s new wave of sanctions hits the generals and defence companies that have blood on their hands.”

Mariupol has become a key battleground in the war.

President Vladimir Putin declared on Thursday that Russia had seized the city, even as his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said more than 2,000 Ukrainian troops remain holed up in an industrial complex in the strategic port on the Sea of Azov.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said countries should “do more” when it comes to providing military support to Ukraine.

“The Ukrainians need, first and foremost, they need long-range artillery and artillery shells,” he said.

“They use currently Russian Soviet stocks and the calibres are different from what the West holds, so not only are we trying to help them source those calibres so that they can immediately be used, but at the same time helping them explore developing new capabilities with what would be called Nato calibres, so that if they choose to shift to that we can all help them with supply.”

The UK government said four senior officers are among those targeted in the new sanctions.

They include the commander of occupying troops in the town of Bucha, north-west of Kyiv. Hundreds of civilians were found dead after Russian forces withdrew from the town.

Sanctions have been imposed on the following key military leaders:

  • Lt Col Azatbek Omurbekov, an army commanding officer accused of involvement in the “Bucha massacre”.
  • Col Gen Andrey Serdyukov, commander of airborne forces
  • Maj Gen Valery Flyustikov, commander of special operation forces
  • Col Gen Nikolay Bogdanovsky, first deputy chief of the general staff

Also targeted are people actively supporting the invasion, including:

  • Oleg Belozyorov, chief executive and chairman of Russian Railways
  • Ilya Kiva, an expelled Ukrainian MP who has publicly supported Russia’s actions

Russian bombers have repeatedly dropped munitions on civilian infrastructure, including civil government buildings, hospitals, schools and transportation nodes, the Foreign Office said.

The UK government concluded it was intentional targeting based on the types of civilian targets struck, frequency of strikes, volume of munitions and the repeated targeting of the same locations on consecutive days.

As part of the new wave of sanctions, the UK is also fast-tracking a further 19 individuals and entities, in alignment with global partners from the G7 and the EU.

They are all linked to Russia’s military and defence capabilities and include:

  • Sergei Borisovich Korolyov, first deputy director of Russia Federal Security Service
  • Kalashnikov Concern, a Russian developer and weapons manufacturer
  • Arzamas Machine-Building Plant, where amphibious armoured personnel carriers are built
  • GTLK, which operates special equipment for Russian companies in the transport industry.

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Updated: April 21, 2022, 3:04 PM