he UK has targeted “key leaders” of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, including the commanding officer known as the Butcher of Bucha, in a new swathe of sanctions.
Russian troops have been attacking the east of Ukraine with renewed focus after failing to take key cities, including the capital Kyiv. The beseiged city of Mariupol has become a particular focus with Mr Putin declaring on Thursday the city had been “liberated”.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Thursday said a new wave of 26 sanctions were intended to target those who had been in charge of troops who have “repeatedly dropped munitions on civilian infrastructure, including civil government buildings, hospitals, schools and transportation nodes” in Mariupol and elsewhere in Ukraine.
They include Lt Col Azatbek Omurbekov, known as the Butcher of Bucha for his role in atrotitices in the suburb of Kyiv; Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, the commander of Airborne Forces; Major General Valery Flyustikov, Commander of Special Operations Forces and Colonel General Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff.
The sanctions also target those outside the military including Oleg Belozyorov, the chief executive and chairman of logistics company Russian Railways, and Ilya Kiva, the defecting and expelled Ukrainian MP who has publicly supported Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Ms Truss said the UK was “unyielding in our support for Ukraine and in holding Putin and his regime to account. Today’s new wave of sanctions hits the generals and defence companies that have blood on their hands.”