Russian troops seize Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukrainian official says

The United Kingdom is set to sanction 100 people and entities as part of new sanctions against Russia, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday afternoon.

In a speech to the UK Parliament, the Prime Minister said the UK was announcing “the biggest and toughest sanctions package Russia has ever seen”.

An asset freeze will be imposed on Russian state bank VTB, Johnson said, following the sanctioning of five Russian banks on Tuesday.

“These powers will allow us to completely exclude Russian banks from the UK financial system,” Johnson noted.

Russian public and private companies will also be prevented from “raising funds in the UK, prohibiting dealing with their securities and granting loans to them”.

About 100 people and entities will have their assets frozen, Johnson said, adding that this includes “every major manufacturer that supports Putin’s war machine.”

“Sanctions will also be applied to Belarus for its role in the assault on Ukraine,” Johnson added.

Regarding international finance, Johnson said “nothing is ruled out” when it comes to shutting down Russia’s access to SWIFT, the highly secure payment network.

The UK also hopes to pass legislation “early next week” to ban the export of all dual-use items to Russia, Johnson said, including a “range of high-tech equipment and components range and critical in sectors such as electronics, telecommunications and aerospace.”

Johnson stressed that these sanctions “will constrain Russia’s military, industrial and technological capabilities for years to come.”

The UK will also ban Russia’s national carrier, Aeroflot, and propose action on the Common Crime Bill’s unexplained wealth orders, Johnson said.

A new dedicated kleptocracy cell within the UK’s National Crime Agency will be created “to target sanctions, evasion and corruption of Russian assets hidden in the UK”, Johnson continued.

“We will continue our mission without remorse to oust Russia from the global economy, piece by piece, day after day and week after week,” Johnson told lawmakers.

The UK will carry out an “unwavering mission” to ensure that Putin’s “sordid adventure” fails, Johnson stressed.

Johnson said it was now clear that the Russian president was “always determined to attack his neighbor no matter what we do”.

“Now we see him for what he is, a bloodstained mugger,” Johnson remarked.

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