New UK sanctions on leading Russian TV anchor, editors

The targets also include the state Kremlin funded TV-Novosti

By Prasun Sonwalkar

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Published: Thu 31 Mar 2022, 3:37 PM

The Boris Johnson government on Thursday announced a new tranche of sanctions against what it called 14 ‘Russian propagandists and state media’, including leading TV anchor Sergey Brilev, who previously lived in the UK but will no longer be able to access his UK assets or continue business dealings.

The Foreign Office said Brilev is a prominent Russian presenter on the state-owned TV channel Rossiya. He is known for his interviews with high profile political figures, including Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.

The TV presenter is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council which is presided over by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, it said.

The targets include the state Kremlin funded TV-Novosti, which owns the RT channel, Rossiya Segodnya, which controls news agency Sputnik, and Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, reportedly known as ‘the butcher of Mariupol’.

The targets, the Foreign Office said, are responsible for allegedly spreading lies and deceit about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following UK telecom regulator Ofcom’s decision to revoke RT’s broadcasting licence, officials said the sanctions will ensure RT will not be able to find its way back on UK televisions, and will prevent companies and individuals operating in the UK from doing business with Russian state propaganda vehicles RT and Sputnik, and key figures in those organisations.

Other individuals targeted include: Aleksandr Zharov, Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom-Media and former Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor); Alexey Nikolov, Managing Director of RT; and Anton Anisimov, Head of Sputnik International Broadcasting.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies. 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”.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries added: “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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