Britain has slapped tough new rules on 59 more Russians but a notable name within Russia’s elite has appeared among the list.
Britain has slapped sanctions on 59 more Russians but a notable name has appeared among the list.
Targets of the latest asset freeze includes Russian diamond giant Alrosa and shadowy mercenary group Wagner, but it’s Polina Kovaleva — the stepdaughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov — that has made headlines.
Lavrov is known to be Putin’s close ally while Ms Kovaleva is the daughter of his alleged mistress, “actress” Svetlana Polyakova.
Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team allege Lavrov has been living a “double life” for almost two decades.
“A source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters that everyone in the Foreign Ministry knows that this woman is Lavrov’s wife and almost the most influential person in the Foreign Ministry.
“She can fire someone she doesn’t like. She attends official events. She eventually accompanies Lavrov when he meets with Putin.”
Navalny’s team said Lavrov “lies, steals and spends money on a secret family”.
Major moves against Russia have been announced overnight as NATO, G7 and EU leaders gathered in unprecedented emergency meetings to discuss overhauling the alliance’s eastern defences.
Ms Kovaleva, 26, lives in London and leads a glamorous life in a AU$7million home in Kensington in west London. She purchased the million dollar apartment when she was 21, Lavrov’s report read.
Activists protested outside her home earlier as the war in Ukraine heightened, brandishing her the “daughter of a war criminal”.
Her Instagram has been deleted but Navalny’s team have been following her activity for years, including accompanying Lavrov on a business trip to Japan in 2017.
There are also pictures of her at ski resorts in Austria and luxurious locations including the Montenegrin villa of Deripaska.
It comes after the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, 24-year-old Elizaveta Peskova, was swept up by sanctions earlier this month, telling Business Insider she was “blindsided” by the move.
“For me, it’s totally unfair and unfounded,” she said. “I was really surprised because it’s weird introducing sanctions [on] someone who is 24 years old and has nothing to do with the situation.”
The news came ahead of an emergency NATO summit in Brussels, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to a new package to help Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces.
“Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in Brussels.
“The harder our sanctions, the tougher our economic vice around the Putin regime, the more we can do to help the Ukrainians, I think the faster that this thing can be over,” he said.
The latest measures, against a range of key strategic industries and people, takes to more than 1,000 the number of Russian and Belarusian individuals and businesses sanctioned by London in recent weeks.
Britain also targeted six more banks, Russian Railways, the defense company Kronshtadt — the main producer of Russian drones — and diamond giant Alrosa, according to the foreign ministry. Mr Johnson says Britain will send 6,000 missiles and £25 million ($33 million) in financial aid to Ukraine’s army to help it fight Russian forces.
It will also send an additional 6,000 missiles in addition to the 4,000 NLAW’s and Javelin missiles already supplied. Lethal defensive military aid, including Starstreak high-velocity anti-air missiles, will “help Ukrainians continue to defend themselves,” Mr Johnson said.
“Vladimir Putin is already failing in Ukraine.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the latest round of sanction will hit “oligarchs, businesses and hired thugs complicit in the murder of innocent civilians”.