Britain announced fresh sanctions and trade restrictions targeting Russia's ability to make war on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the start of the Kremlin's war in Ukraine. File Photo via Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 24 (UPI) -- On the one-year anniversary of Russia's war in Ukraine, Britain on Friday announced sweeping sanctions targeting dozens of people and extensive export bans affecting "every item Russia has been found using on the battlefield."
Among those sanctioned include 34 executives of Russia's two largest defense companies, Rostec and Almaz-Antey Corporation; 20 executives of Russian energy company Gazprom; and five senior Iranian executives in Qods Aviation Industry, which has been manufacturing drones for the Kremlin to use in Ukraine.
Several people in Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle were also identified for blacklisting Friday, including Nord Stream 2 chief executive officer Mattias Warnig and Lyubov Kabaeva, the mother of former Russian gymnast and Duma Deputy Alina Kabaeva who has been accused of being the president's mistress.
Four Russian banks as well as six Russian companies involved in the manufacture or repair of military equipment for Kremlin forces were also hit.
Trades measures, such as export bans on each item that Russia has been identified using in its war against Ukraine, were also included in the package, prohibiting the export of hundreds of aviation parts, radio equipment and electronic components to Russia.
Britain also prohibited the import of 140 goods, including iron and steel products processed in third countries.
The sanctions and trade measures target Russia's already strained ability to produce equipment weapons, such as armored vehicles and attack helicopters, with the hopes that Putin's war machine will be further hindered, British officials said.
"Ukrainians are turning the tide on Russia, but they cannot do it alone," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement announcing the sanctions. "That is why we must do more to help Ukraine.
"Today, we are sanctioning the elites who run Putin's key industries and committing to prohibit the export to Russia of every item Russia has been found using on the battlefield."
Since the war began on Feb. 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the European nation's Western allies, including Britain and the United States, have been arming it in its fight while repeatedly sanctioning Russia to undermine its war-making abilities.
With the 92 people and entities blacklisted Friday, Britain has sanctioned more than 1,500 Russians and Russian companies.
Separately, the British Treasury announced that in collaboration with Britain's nine largest banks, it had enabled 70,000 Ukrainian refugees being hosted in the country to access basic banking services.
The bank accounts allow them to receive wages from employers, send and receive money and pay for goods and services.
The government worked with providers of basic bank accounts to ensure fast action was taken to remove barriers to opening accounts faced by Ukrainian nationals, such as the lack of a conventional ID.
Britain has granted more than 215,000 visas to refugees of the war under its Homes for Ukraine and Ukraine Family Schemes.
In a special message from Buckingham Palace, King Charles III praised the Ukrainian people for their "remarkable courage and resilience in the face of such human tragedy."
"I can only hope the outpouring of solidarity from across the globe may bring not only practical aid, but also strength from the knowledge that, together, we stand together."
The king's comments came as the nation held a minute's silence at 11 a.m. to mark the anniversary of the launch of Russia's full-scale invasion exactly a year ago today.
Britain marks important moments in national and world history, including the signing of the armistice that ended World War 1, with silence at that hour.
United States secretary of state Antony Blinken (L) is greeted by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after a U.N. Security Council Meeting on the Ukrainian, Russian conflict at U.N. headquarters in New York City on February 24, 2023. Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo