UK sanctions Putin’s ‘shady’ friends and family including alleged mistress

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UK sanctions Putin’s ‘shady’ friends and family including alleged mistress
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Britain has announced more Russian sanctions, with president Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, family members and inner circle hit in the latest tranche of measures designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

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.”

Mr Putin’s official assets are modest, according to the Foreign Office, with his lifestyle “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites”.

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Those newly placed on the sanctions list, which has grown to more than 1,000 individuals and 100 entities, include former first lady of the Russian Federation and ex-wife of Mr Putin, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya.

Mikhail Shelomov, a Russian business owner and the leader’s first cousin, once removed, has been targeted.

Also on the list is Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast who has risen to become Chair of the Board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company. She is alleged to have a close personal relationship with Putin, and previously sat as a deputy in the Duma for Putin’s United Russia party.

The Foreign Office said: “Official records list modest assets for President Putin including: a small flat in St Petersburg, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a trailer, and a small garage. In reality, Putin relies on his network of family, childhood friends, and selected elite who have benefited from his rule and in turn support his lifestyle. Their reward is influence over the affairs of the Russian state that goes far beyond their formal positions.”

The new sanctions list also includes Mr Putin’s first cousin Igor Putin, who is director of Pechenga International Sea Port, and Mikhail Putin, who is on the management boards of SOGAZ Insurance and Gazprom.

The list announced by the Foreign Office on Friday includes:

Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast. Kabaeva has risen to become Chair of the Board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company. She is alleged to have a close personal relationship with Putin, and previously sat as a Deputy in the Duma for Putin's United Russia.

Anna Zatseplina, grandmother of Alina Kabaeva and associate of Gennady Timchenko - a longstanding Putin associate, sanctioned by the UK on 22 February 2022, from whom she has reportedly received a luxury flat in Moscow.

Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, former First Lady of the Russian Federation and ex-wife of Putin. Since her divorce from Putin in 2014, Ocheretnaya has benefited from preferential business relationships with state-owned entities.

Igor Putin, first cousin of President Vladimir Putin, and a Russian businessman. Igor Putin is Director of Pechenga International Sea Port.

Mikhail Putin, a Russian businessman and relative of President Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Putin is Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of SOGAZ Insurance and Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprom.

Roman Putin, first cousin once removed of President Vladimir Putin. Roman Putin is publicly open about his relation to Putin and emphasises how this family connection enabled his company, Putin Consulting, to help foreign investors in Russia.

Mikhail Shelomov, a Russian business owner and Putin's first cousin, once removed. Shelomov's company Akcept LLC has allegedly shared employees with Binom JSC, the firm registered as owning 'Putin's Palace'. Shelomov, through his firm Akcept LLC, is also a shareholder in Bank Rossiya, a bank with close Kremlin links, and run by key Putin lieutenants, sanctioned by the UK on 22 February 2022.

Alexander Plekhov, a close friend of Putin. He has benefited from his relationship with Putin and his company Vital Development Corporation has benefited from significant state patronage.

Mikhail Klishin, an Executive in Bank Rossiya, and a member of the Board of Directors at SOGAZ.

Vladimir Kolbin, the son of Putin's childhood friend and alleged business associate, Peter Kolbin. Vladimir has benefited from and supported the Government of Russia acting as General Director of Gelendzhik Seaport LLC.

Yuri Shamalov, son of Nikolai Shamalov (sanctioned by the UK in 2014), and brother of Putin's former son-in-law, Kirill (sanctioned by the UK on 24 February 2022). Yuri is a member of the new elite of children of Putin's closest associates, and has risen rapidly to become President of Gazfond, and Member of the Board of Directors of Gazprombank.

Viktor Khmarin is a Russian lawyer and businessman, who is a friend and relative-by-marriage of Putin. Khmarin has owned a number of businesses including LLC NefteProduktServis, which operated in the Russian energy sector.

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