A former director of Everton FC is among new UK sanctions on Russian officials, as the foreign office targets officials with links to the puppet administrations of the ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics’ .
Among those hit are Vitaly Khotsenko and Vladislav Kuznetsov, the Russian-imposed leaders of the so-called republics, in addition to Sanjar Ismailov, nephew of Alisher Usmanov, who was a former part-owner of Arsenal.
Alisher Usmanov’s holding company, USM, also entered an agreement with Everton for naming rights. Ties were severed earlier this year.
Alisher was sanctioned in March, while Sarvar was a former director at Everton.
This comes after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, before refocusing its war on the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which it claims are Russian.
Ukraine and the international community reject Russia’s claims and have branded the so-called republics as illegitimate, while there has been fighting over the region since 2014.
In addition, 29 regional governors from across Russia who have been directed by the Kremlin to transfer funds to the two republics in question, have been sanctioned.
Among those also hit are Russian minister of justice Konstantin Chuychenko and deputy Justice Oleg Sviridenko.
Tory leadership frontrunner and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We will not keep quiet and watch Kremlin-appointed state actors suppress the people of Ukraine or the freedoms of their own people.
“We will continue to impose harsh sanctions on those who are trying to legitimise Putin’s illegal invasion until Ukraine prevails.”
The UK has so far sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and 100 companies with ties to the government.
The UK also hit a number of Syrian officials who have been supporting Russia’s war effort, including Muhammad Al-Salti, the Commander-in-Chief of the ‘Palestine Liberation Army’.