Destroyed buildings stand in Borodianka, located northwest of Kyiv, on Tuesday, April 5. Britain on Thursday sanctioned two associates of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. Photo by Vladyslav Musienko/UPI | License Photo
April 15 (UPI) -- Eugene Tenenbaum, director of the Chelsea Football Club, has been blacklisted by the British government as it continues to target oligarchs, Russian elites and those in the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin over his war in Ukraine.
Tenenbaum and David Davidovich were sanctioned Thursday by Britain's foreign secretary Liz Truss, who said the asset freeze of their combined $13 billion is the largest in British history.
"We are tightening the ratchet on Putin's war machine and targeting the circle of people closest to the Kremlin," she said in a statement. "We will keep going with sanctions until Putin fails in Ukraine. Nothing and no one is off the table."
Truss said the pair were being hit over their association with Roman Abramovich, the owner of the Chelsea soccer team who was sanctioned by Britain last month.
The foreign ministry said that by sanctioning Tenenbaum and Davidovich, it was preventing their substantial assets from being repatriated to Russia and used to fund Putin's war in Ukraine, which has been going on now for 50 days.
As evidence of the pair's relationship with Abramovich, the ministry says not only does Tenenbaum describe himself as one of Abramovich's closest business associates but corporate filings show that he took control of a Abramovich-linked investment company called Ervington Investments on Feb. 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.
Davidovich, who was also hit with a travel ban, has been described as Abramovich's right-hand man, and took over Ervington Investments from Tenenbaum in March.
Since the war began, Britain has sanctioned 106 oligarchs and their family members and associates.
Early last month before being hit with sanctions, Abramovich announced he was selling the iconic British soccer team.
Priest Andrii Gavalin presides over the funeral of Eugene Bogdanov, 35, in Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10. Bogdanov went missing two months ago. His wife, Natalia Bogdanova, was searching for him throughout the Kyiv and Bucha regions when his body was found at a morgue in Belaya Tserkov on May 9. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo