More sanctions against Russia and Belarus

The Australian government has imposed new sanctions on Russian propaganda and disinformation purveyors who have attempted to legitimize Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and on political and security figures and organizations that supported the invasion.

The Russian government is running a widespread disinformation campaign both within Russia and internationally. President Putin has attacked freedom of speech and expression in Russia to stifle factual reporting of his war against Ukraine and its egregious war crimes, and to tarnish the perception of Ukraine and its international supporters.

We have listed 11 individuals and 12 organizations for promoting Russian propaganda and disinformation about sanctions, building on actions taken against 32 propagandists back in March 2022. This includes individuals in the Russian media industry who promote the Russian government’s false narratives.

Australia is also imposing targeted financial sanctions on entities such as “troll farms” that generate and spread disinformation online, many of which are linked to Russian intelligence agencies.

Among the three entities and four individuals sanctioned for their role in the Russian invasion is the private military company “Wagner,” dubbed the de facto private army of Russian President Putin. Wagner’s mercenaries support Russian-backed separatists in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, in clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The other two units are Belarusian defense companies Industrial-Commercial Private Unitary Enterprise Mimotor-Service and OJSC KB Radar-Managing Company of Radar Systems Holding. Both companies manufacture sophisticated equipment used by the Belarusian Armed Forces, which in turn have provided significant strategic support to the Russian Armed Forces.

The four people sanctioned for aiding the invasion are Aleksandr Chupriyan, Acting Minister of Emergencies of the Russian Federation; Sergei Korolyov, First Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB); Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia; and Illia Kyva, a pro-Russian former member of Ukraine’s parliament.

The Australian government, in coordination with our partners, continues to inflict costs on Russia by targeting those complicit in, or who have a say in, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With these additional listings announced today, Australia has now sanctioned 827 individuals and 62 entities in response to the Russian invasion.

Separately, we listed the Russian Imperial Movement, a Russian ultranationalist group that conducts paramilitary training through a course called Partizan, for sanctions. She is also known for her anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTIQ and anti-Ukrainian views and has dispatched foreign fighters to join Russian separatists in Ukraine.

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