Nov. 30 (UPI) — The British government on Wednesday announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian officials who have promoted and enforced the conscription of citizens for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The package includes sanctions on 22 officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Denis Valentinovich Manturov, who is responsible for overseeing the Russian weapons industry and responsible for equipping mobilized troops.
“The Russian regime’s decision to partially mobilize Russian citizens was a desperate attempt to overwhelm the valiant Ukrainians defending their territory. It has failed,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement. “Today we have sanctioned individuals who have enforced this conscription, sending thousands of Russian citizens to fight in Putin’s illegal and abhorrent war.”
Ten governors and regional heads were also sanctioned, including heads of Russia’s poorest ethnic republics, where a number of conscripts have hailed from.
Arkady Gostev, director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation and Dmitry Bezrukikh, the head of the Federal Punishment Service of the Rostov region, have also been sanctioned.
Both Gostev and Bezrukikh have worked closely with Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin to fill the ranks of his private mercenary army, the Wagner Group.
“They have drafted criminals, including murderers and sex offenders, in exchange for pardons from President Putin,” the British government said in a news release.
To date, Britain has sent over $2.7 billion in military aid to support Ukraine’s efforts.
“The U.K. will continue to use both sanctions and military aid to support Ukraine in the defense of their independence,” Cleverly said.