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Putin’s ex-wife and family members targeted in latest UK sanctions

The UK’s Foreign Secretary said she was taking aim at the ‘shady network propping up’ the Russian president’s luxury lifestyle.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Image: PA

THE UK’S FOREIGN Office announced today that further sanctions would be applied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family and inner circle as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Official records list the Kremlin leader’s assets as relatively modest, including a small flat in St Petersburg, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a trailer, and a small garage.

However the Foreign Office stated that Putin’s lifestyle is “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites” who have benefited from his rule and refer to a £664 million yacht and a €969 million “Putin palace” owned by a close associate of the president.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle.

“We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

The UK’s sanctions list now contains over 1,000 individuals and 100 entities, including former first lady of the Russian Federation and ex-wife of Putin, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya.  

Since her divorce from the president in 2014, Ocheretnaya has benefited from “preferential business relationships with state-owned entities”, officials said.

Another high-profile person to be listed is Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast who is allegedly Putin’s lover.

She has risen to become chair of the board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company.  

Igor Putin, the leader’s first cousin and director of an international seaport, has been targeted with sanctions as well as Mikhail Putin, the deputy chairman of the management board of energy giant Gazprom.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today Putin insisted that Russia was fighting “Nazi ideology” in Ukraine.

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“Attention has been drawn to the continued violations of international humanitarian law by militants advocating Nazi ideology and using terrorist methods,” the Kremlin said in a readout after the call.

Putin reiterated that Moscow’s military operation was aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. Putin also accused Kyiv of “blocking” peace talks.

Scholz has come under fire for arms deliveries to Ukraine deemed insufficient and Germany’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

Germany’s economy is now racing to wean itself off Russian energy and has already almost completely phased out Russian coal.

-Additional reporting from AFP

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