Russian general dubbed ‘butcher of Mariupol’ among new list of sanctions announced by Liz Truss

Propagandists also targeted in expansion of sanctions list

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 31 March 2022 12:35 BST
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev (Alamy Stock Photo)

A Russian general dubbed the “Butcher of Mariupol” is among propagandists and Kremlin-funded media organisations to be sanctioned by the UK government today.

Announcing 14 new additions to the sanctions list – predominately targeting Moscow’s “disinformation” – Liz Truss, the foreign secretary said Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is “based on a torrent of lies”.

The latest names to be added include propagandist Sergey Brilev — a TV anchor in Russia’s state-owned Rossiya — and the Kremlin funded TV-Novosti, which owns the RT news channel.

The Foreign office said Mr Brilev has previously lived in Britain and will no longer be able to access any of his UK assets or to continue with business dealings.

Others include Aleksandr Zharov, the chief executive officer of Gazprom-Media, Alexey Nikolov, the Managing Director of RT , and the head of Sputnik international broadcasting, Anton Anisimov.

Directly targeting state-media organisations, including Novosti, who own RT, the government added following Ofcom's decision to revoke RT's broadcasting licence, the sanctions will ensure the channel will not be able to find its way back on UK televisions.

Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, dubbed “the butcher of Mariupol” owing to his alleged brutal military tactics in Ukraine, including the destruction of a maternity hospital, also features among the 14 new additions to the sanctions list.

The Foreign Office added that Mizintsev, the chief of the National Defence Command and Control Centre, where Russian military operations are controlled, is known for using “reprehensible tactics”, including shelling of civilian centres in Aleppo, Syria.

This map shows the extent of Russian invasion of Ukraine
This map shows the extent of Russian invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

“Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies,” the foreign secretary said. “Britain has helped lead the world in exposing Kremlin disinformation, and this latest batch of sanctions hits the shameless propagandists who push out Putin’s fake news and narratives.

“We will keep on going with more sanctions to ramp up the pressure on Russia and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine. Nothing and no one is off the table.”

Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, also said: “Putin’s propaganda machine has been working overdrive to spread misinformation and distract from his barbaric actions in Ukraine.

“These sanctions will target those who are complicit in covering up the Russian state’s actions. We will not hesitate to act further against individuals and organisations attempting to deceive people about this misguided war.”

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