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UK sanctions Russians linked to sham elections in Ukraine’s occupied parts

The UK sanctions Russian officials involved in recent sham elections in Ukraine’s occupied regions of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.
UK sanctions Russians linked to sham elections in Ukraine’s occupied parts

Britain has imposed sanctions on Russia’s Central Electoral Commission and 10 Russian officials involved in sham elections and referendums in occupied Ukrainian territories, including Crimea, and parts of the oblasts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk, according to the British Government’s press release published on 29 September. The sanctions include movement and financial restrictions.

Russia’s sham polls in the occupied parts of Ukraine took place on 8-10 September this year. In September 2022, Russia staged sham referenda in the areas to formally annex them.

“Eleven new designations will be imposed by the UK in response to Russia’s attempts to use sham elections to legitimise its illegal control of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, which are all part of Ukrainian sovereign territory,” the UK Government’s press release reads.

According to the press release, those sanctions include:

  • The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia, the government agency that has arranged this month’s sham elections and last year’s referendums in illegally temporarily controlled parts of Ukraine.
  • Natalya Budarina, CEC Secretary, one of the most senior officials in the Central Election Commission.
  • Andrei Aleksyenko, Head of the so-called Kherson regional administration.
  • Marina Zakharova, Head of the so-called election commission in Kherson.

“Today’s announcement comes one year on from Russia’s illegal attempt to annex the Ukrainian oblasts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk after falsified and illegitimate sham referendums. Conducted on sovereign Ukrainian territory, through intimidation at gunpoint, these referendums were overwhelmingly rejected by the UN General Assembly in October 2022,” the UK Government noticed.

Currently, a total of 1,600 individuals and entities have been on the British sanctions list in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia’s sham elections are a transparent, futile attempt to legitimise its illegal control of sovereign Ukrainian territory. You can’t hold ‘elections’ in someone else’s country,” UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, adding that the UK will never recognise Russia’s claims to Ukrainian territory.

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