The U.K. government on Friday announced a fresh wave of sanctions targeting the friends and family of Vladimir Putin, who Westminster claims are funding the Russian president’s “lavish lifestyle,” as countries continue to crack down on Russia’s elite over its invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions mean asset freezes and travel bans will be imposed on seven family members and five “confidants and loyal supporters” that function as a “wallet… funding Putin’s lavish lifestyle,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Members of Putin’s family sanctioned include his ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, a series of cousins in prominent business positions and Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast turned media executive widely presumed to be his clandestine partner.
Kabaeva’s grandmother, Anna Zatseplina, has also been targeted.
Bank executive Mikhail Klishin, oil executive Yuri Shamalov and businessmen Alexander Plekhov, Viktor Khmarin and Vladimir Kolbin—all elites who have “benefited from his [Putin’s] rule”—were also sanctioned.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the government is “exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle.”
The precise size, source and nature of Putin’s wealth has been impossible to pinpoint and eluded Forbes for decades. Officially, his personal assets are relatively modest and at odds with his lifestyle, hence the sanctions targeting his financial and personal networks. The latest U.K. sanctions tighten the vice on Putin’s inner circle and expand upon previous efforts from the likes of the EU, U.K. and U.S. to target close family and allies. These have brought attention to aspects of Putin’s life he has long sought to keep out of the spotlight, including his daughters, who the Kremlin has only ever identified by their first names and of whom there are no confirmed photographs.
Over 1,000. That’s how many people the U.K. has sanctioned since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the Foreign Office said, in addition to 100 other entities. This includes a network of oligarchs with a global net worth of over £117 billion (around $143 billion), the agency added.
The EU is also reportedly poised to sanction Kabaeva as part of its sixth round of sanctions against Russia. The proposed sanctions also include a ban on Russian oil imports within six months, though this has proven divisive among member states.