New UK sanctions target Putin's inner circle, including ex-wife, rumored girlfriend
Sanctions hit Russian leader's 'wallet’ of family and friends,' says British foreign secretary
The UK on Friday announced sanctions against a dozen members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's family and inner circle, including his former wife and rumored girlfriend.
The people targeted are Putin's ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya; Alina Kabaeva, a media executive with whom he has “a close personal relationship”; and Anna Zatseplina, Kabaeva's grandmother and associate of a longstanding Putin aide Gennady Timchenko, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
The remaining individuals said to be part of Putin's financial network include his cousins, other relatives and close friends, among them Igor Putin, a first cousin and a businessman serving as the director of Pechenga International Sea Port.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss referred to the individuals as “Putin's ‘wallet' of family and friends – those whom he rewards with state positions and wealth in return for their undying loyalty.”
It is understood that Putin's family members form the core contingent of his inner circle and were promoted to influential positions within the government due to their loyalty and affiliation to the Russian leader.
Putin's longtime confidants and allies have also been appointed to high positions.
“We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin's luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle,” Truss said.
“We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin's aggression until Ukraine prevails.”
Alluding to Putin's “lavish lifestyle,” the UK government cited “reports exposing links to a £566 million yacht and the $1 billion ‘Putin's Palace' – officially owned by close associate, Arkady Rotenberg, who was sanctioned in December 2020.”
“Today's sanctions will hit this cabal who owe Putin their wealth and power, and in turn support Putin and his war machine,” the statement said.
Since the Ukraine war began on Feb. 24, the UK has sanctioned over 1,000 individuals and 100 entities associated with or linked to the Russian government, including wealthy oligarchs and Russian corporations with global worth of more than £117 billion ($142 billion).