Zelensky sanctions over 100 Russian public figures
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Saturday, imposing personal sanctions on some 119 Russian public figures. Kiev’s new blacklist includes prominent artists and journalists.
Ukraine sanctioned Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov and pop singer Philipp Kirkorov, as well as stand-up comedian Evgeny Petrosyan and opera star Anna Netrebko.
Kiev also targeted a number of Russian journalists, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group Dmitry Kiselyov.
The restrictions imposed for a 10-year period include freeze of assets, travel and visa bans, stripping of Ukrainian state awards, and some other measures.
Kiev has repeatedly sanctioned Russian officials and public figures amid the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of them blacklisted already.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
Shortly before the hostilities broke out, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.