The UK has added Russia’s President Vladimir Putin's ex-wife, cousins and alleged “girlfriend” to the sanctions for Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, according to the announcement of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on May 13.
Previously Putin has already been personally sanctioned, but unconfirmed reports claimed that Putin’s alleged “girlfriend”, ex-Olympic gymnast-turned-politician Alina Kabaeva was previously exempted from the US Treasury’s sanctions due to fears of a furious reaction from the Russian president.
The UK claims that Putin’s family members form a core contingent of his inner circle – receiving positions of power due to their affiliation to the regime. “Putin’s lavish lifestyle has regularly been on display, with reports exposing links to a GBP566mn yacht and the $1bn ‘Putin’s Palace’ – officially owned by a close associate, Arkady Rotenberg, who was sanctioned in December 2020,” according to the sanction announcement.
The latest May 13 UK sanctions include:
- Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast, chair of the board of the National Media Group, reportedly the largest private Russian media company. She is alleged to have a close personal relationship with Putin, and previously sat as a Deputy in the Duma for Putin’s United Russia
- Anna Zatseplina, grandmother of Alina Kabaeva and associate of Gennady Timchenko – a long-standing Putin associate sanctioned by the UK on 22 February 2022 – from whom she has reportedly received a luxury flat in Moscow
- Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, former First Lady of the Russian Federation and ex-wife of Putin. Since her divorce from Putin in 2014, Ocheretnaya has benefited from preferential business relationships with state-owned entities
- Yuri Shamalov, son of Nikolai Shamalov (sanctioned by the UK in 2014), and brother of Putin’s former son-in-law, Kirill (sanctioned by the UK on 24 February 2022). Yuri is a member of the new elite of children of Putin’s closest associates, and has risen rapidly to become president of Gazfond, and member of the board of directors of Gazprombank
- Igor Putin, first cousin of President Vladimir Putin, and a Russian businessman. Igor Putin is director of Pechenga International Sea Port
- Mikhail Putin, a Russian businessman and relative of President Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Putin is deputy chairman of the management board of SOGAZ Insurance and deputy chairman of the management board of Gazprom
- Roman Putin, first cousin once removed of President Vladimir Putin. Roman Putin is publicly open about his relation to Putin and emphasises how this family connection enabled his company, Putin Consulting, to help foreign investors in Russia
- Mikhail Shelomov, a Russian business owner and Putin’s first cousin once removed. Shelomov’s company Akcept LLC has allegedly shared employees with Binom JSC, the firm registered as owning ‘Putin’s Palace’. Shelomov, through his firm Akcept LLC, is also a shareholder in Bank Rossiya, a bank with close Kremlin links, and run by key Putin lieutenants, sanctioned by the UK on 22 February, 2022
- Alexander Plekhov, a close friend of Putin. He has benefited from his relationship with Putin, and his company Vital Development Corporation has benefited from significant state patronage
- Mikhail Klishin, an executive in Bank Rossiya, and a member of the board of directors at SOGAZ
- Vladimir Kolbin, the son of Putin’s childhood friend and alleged business associate, Peter Kolbin. Kolbin has benefited from and supported the government of Russia, acting as general director of Gelendzhik Seaport LLC
- Viktor Khmarin is a Russian lawyer and businessman, who is a friend and relative-by-marriage of Putin. Khmarin has owned a number of businesses, including LLC NefteProduktServis, which operated in the Russian energy sector
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