The UK has targeted Alina Kabaeva, a former gymnast and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged mistress, as well as Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Putin’s ex-wife, in a new round of sanctions against Russia. On Friday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced new sanctions against Putin’s “wallet” of family and friends, whom he rewards with official jobs and cash in exchange for their unwavering support. “Putin is reliant on his family, childhood friends, and a narrow group of elites who have benefitted from his leadership and hence support his way of life. Their remuneration “influences Russian state activities much beyond their formal roles,” according to a statement from the UK foreign office.
Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, former First Lady of the Russian Federation and ex-wife of Putin, has also been sanctioned. Since her divorce from Putin in 2014, Ocheretnaya has benefited from preferential business relationships with state-owned entities, according to the statement. Another close family member who has been targeted is Igor Putin, the first cousin of President Vladimir Putin, and a Russian businessman. Igor Putin is the Director of Pechenga International Sea Port. Since the start of Russia’s ‘military operation’, the UK has sanctioned over 1,000 individuals and 100 entities, including hitting oligarchs with a net global worth of over £117 billion.
Truss said the UK will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails. “Putin’s lavish lifestyle has regularly been on display, with reports exposing links to a £566 million yacht and the USD 1 billion ‘Putin’s Palace’ – officially owned by close associate, Arkady Rotenberg, who was sanctioned in December 2020,” she added. According to UK foreign office, Putin’s family members form a core contingent of his inner circle – receiving positions of power due to their affiliation to the regime.The individuals sanctioned by the UK include Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast. 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.
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