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Johnson praises Ukrainians for ‘fighting heroically’ as Truss targets oligarchs

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oris Johnson has praised Ukrainians for “fighting heroically” as allies unveiled new measures to hit Russia’s financial system and Liz Truss said the Foreign Office was preparing a “hit list” of oligarchs to sanction .

Mr Johnson also said the West is “tightening the economic ligature” around Russia, with Britain, the US, Canada and the European Union together announcing selected Russian banks would be excluded from the Swift global payments system.

They said they would be imposing “restrictive measures” to prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves “in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions”.

After talking by telephone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Johnson said the West had to do everything possible to change the “very heavy odds” against Ukraine in its struggle against Moscow’s forces.

He confirmed Britain would be sending further arms to the Ukrainians and he said that the financial measures were essential to put pressure on the Kremlin.

“It is incredibly important for tightening the economic ligature around the Putin regime,” he told broadcasters during a visit to RAF Brize Norton.

Mr Johnson also said: “Let’s be in no doubt, things are not going all the way of President Putin, very far from it.

“The Ukrainians are fighting heroically, and in some places with great success, as many of us thought they would because they’re a great country and a very brave country.”

It came as the Foreign Secretary said there would be “nowhere left to hide” for the super-rich allies of the Kremlin.

The warning follows Mr Johnson last week naming eight high net worth Russians who will be hit by travel bans and asset freezes along with more than 100 individuals, entities and subsidiaries.

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