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The United Kingdom on Friday hit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle” with a new round of sanctions on his ex-wife and rumored girlfriend as he continues his deadly war in Ukraine.
“Official records list modest assets for President Putin including: a small flat in St Petersburg, 2 Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a trailer, and a small garage,” the UK’s foreign ministry said in a statement announcing the sanctions. “In reality, Putin relies on his network of family, childhood friends, and selected elite who have benefited from his rule and in turn support his lifestyle.”
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“Today’s sanctions will hit this cabal who owes Putin their wealth and power, and in turn support Putin and his war machine,” the statement concluded.
Since the war began nearly three months ago, the UK has slapped £117 billion worth of sanctions on Russian entities, individuals and oligarchs.
Western nations have gone after the Kremlin by targeting its wealthy friends and their assets by seizing mega yachts in the Mediterranean and enforcing travel bans.
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“We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle,” foreign secretary Liz Truss said. “We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”
The sanctions listed four cousins to Putin whose businesses have apparent ties to the Kremlin and the former First Lady and ex-wife of Putin, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, who despite their 2014 divorce has reportedly enjoyed “preferential business relationships with state-owned entities.”
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Putin’s alleged mistress, former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, and her grandmother who has reportedly “received a luxury flat in Moscow” were among those targeted Friday.
Five other family friends and businessmen with ties to Putin were also listed under the new sanctions.