The UK authorities have added Patriarch Kirill to the sanctions list, as well as Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of the Russian Federation, reported on the government website.
Another 10 citizens of Ukraine and Russia fell under the sanctions. These are representatives of the administrations appointed in the occupied territories of Ukraine, cooperating with the Russian military, among them – Volodymyr Saldo, who is called the “head of the military-civilian administration” of the Kherson region by Russian state media, as well as his “deputy” Kirill Stremousov.
The sanctions list also includes:
- Moscow City Duma deputy Sergei Savostyanov (due to support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine);
- member of the board of directors of the Volga-Dnepr group of companies Alexei Isaikin (cooperation with the Russian government, transportation of critical cargo);
- four colonels from the 64th separate motorized rifle brigade, a unit that, according to British authorities, “killed, raped and tortured civilians in Bucha.” Their names are not called.
- members of the “Committee for Saving Peace and Order” – an organization that cooperates with the Russian military in the Kherson region.
The restrictions include a ban on entry into the UK, an asset freeze and restrictions on doing business with organizations that are associated with people on the sanctions list.
The justification for the decision of the British authorities says that Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) fell under sanctions because of his “active support for Russian military aggression in Ukraine.”
Lvova-Belova, according to the UK, allowed the forcible removal of two thousand children from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In addition, the authorities believe, she “organized a new policy aimed at their forced adoption in Russia.”
As part of the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia, introduced at the end of May, a number of EU countries sought the imposition of sanctions against Kirill, pointing to a number of statements by the patriarch that could be interpreted as support for the war. Hungary, however, insisted that the patriarch not be included in the list.
Among other things, after the start of the war, Patriarch Kirill served a liturgy in the main church of the Russian Defense Ministry, spoke of a “metaphysical struggle” going on in the Donbass, and accused the Ukrainian authorities of encouraging a church schism. He also claimed that Russia had never attacked anyone in its history.