UK imposes new sanctions targeting Russia disinformation machine
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UK imposes new sanctions targeting Russia disinformation machine

The UK Thursday announced new sanctions on 14 Russian entities and individuals, targeting Russian propagandists and state media who continue to further Russia President Vladimir Putin’s disinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the UK and its allies have continually expanded their sanctions campaigns against Russia. These sanctions have targeted individuals as well as entities in an effort to pressure Russia to withdraw from Ukraine. Most recently, the UK imposed 65 new sanctions on Russian industries and individuals.

The new sanctions target Russia’s disinformation campaign. Sergey Brilev, a prominent Russian TV presenter on Russia’s state-owned Rossiya, was sanctioned for describing the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and furthering Putin’s claims of “denazifying” Ukraine. Other individuals were also sanctioned for their connection with Russian media including Aleksandr Zharov, Alexey Nikolov, Anton Anisimov, Vladimir Ilich Maksimenko, Andrey Grigoryevich Areshev, Irina Sergeyevna Bubnova, Anton Sergeyevich Bespalov, Sergei Ivanovich Saenko, Natalya Petrovna Skorokhodova and Svetlana Georgiyevna Zamlelova.

The new sanctions also included senior Russian military Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the so-called “Butcher of Mariupol.” Mizintsev serves as the Chief of the National Defense Command and Control Center, which is where all Russian military operations are controlled and planned.

Several media institutions and outlets were also sanctioned for their role in furthering Russian disinformation. This includes TV-Novosti, which controls state-owned news agency RT, and Rossiya Segodnya, which controls state-owned news agency Sputnik).

Commenting on the new sanctions, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies. Britain has helped lead the world in exposing Kremlin disinformation, and this latest batch of sanctions hits the shameless propagandists who push out Putin’s fake news and narratives.”

The UK continues to work closely with its allies to target Russian oligarchs, businesses and banks with sanctions.