UK announces new sanctions in response to Russia’s forced deportation of Ukrainian children

Russian officials will face asset freezes and travel bans following their involvement in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and the spreading of hate-inciting propaganda. 

The announcement comes as the UK puts support for Ukraine and its pursuit of peace at the top of its agenda during its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council. 

In a meeting of the UN Security Council today the Foreign Secretary will stand alongside Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to call for a just, lasting peace in the country.  

The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly has today (17th July) announced 14 new sanctions in response to Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukrainian national identity, including 11 against those involved in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children. 

Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Foreign Secretary’s speech at the UN Security Council (UNSC), where he will highlight the far-reaching implications of Russia’s war, call on Russia to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and outline the need for a just, lasting peace in Ukraine. 

Among the designations announced today are Russian officials Ksenia Mishonova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Moscow Region, and Sergey Kravtsov, Minister of Education of Russia. 

These individuals have played an insidious role in Russia’s calculated programme of deportation, designed to erase Ukrainian cultural and national identity. Over 19,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia or temporarily Russian controlled territory by Russian authorities. 

Many deported children are relocated to a network of re-education camps in illegally annexed Crimea and mainland Russia, where they are exposed to Russia-centric academic, cultural, patriotic, and military education. 

This latest package of designations follows the UK’s sanctioning of Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova in June 2022 for her alleged involvement in the forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children. 

Also sanctioned today are 2 Russian propagandists responsible for spreading abhorrent propaganda designed to incite violence and hatred towards Ukraine and its people, including Anton Krasovsky, a former Russia Today presenter, who claimed live on air that Ukrainian children should be drowned and burned.  

Olga Lyubimova, the Russian Culture Minister, is additionally targeted for using her position to support the Russian state’s damaging anti-Ukrainian policies. 

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “In his chilling programme of forced child deportation, and the hate-filled propaganda spewed by his lackeys, we see Putin’s true intention – to wipe Ukraine from the map. 

“Today’s sanctions hold those who prop up Putin’s regime to account, including those who would see Ukraine destroyed, its national identity dissolved, and its future erased.” 

The UK and international partners have implemented the most severe package of sanctions ever imposed on a major economy. 

Over 1,600 individuals and entities have been sanctioned since the start of the invasion, including 29 banks with global assets worth £1 trillion, over 130 oligarchs with a combined net worth of over £145 billion, and over £20 billion worth of UK-Russia trade. 

Later today, in New York, the Foreign Secretary will use his speech during a UK-chaired session of the UNSC to call for a just, lasting peace in Ukraine and highlight Russia’s barbaric forced deportation of Ukrainian children. 

He is expected to say:  

“Ukraine wants peace. We want peace. The whole world wants peace. 

“Peace will bring home Ukraine’s lost children – and feed the hungry of the world.” 

The devastating effects of Putin’s aggression can be felt in every corner of the globe. Vital grain supplies from Ukraine will be cut off and millions will face exacerbated food insecurity if Russia does not agree to a renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative today. 

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