Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK sanctions Russian officials behind conscription, mobilisation and criminal mercenaries [November 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 30 November 2022.

The Foreign Secretary has announced a new package of 22 sanctions targeting officials who have promoted and enforced mobilisation in Russia.

  • Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation and officials behind the forced mobilisation of citizens in Russia sanctioned
  • Arkady Gostev, Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation, also sanctioned for supporting the recruitment of prisoners into Wagner Group
  • The UK has now sanctioned over 1,200 individuals and over 120 entities in response to Putin’s war in Ukraine

The Foreign Secretary has today (Wednesday 30 November) announced a new package of 22 sanctions targeting the officials who have promoted and enforced the conscription of citizens to fight in Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

This includes the Deputy Prime Minister Denis Valentinovich Manturov, who is responsible for overseeing the Russian weapons industry and responsible for equipping mobilised troops.

10 governors and regional heads have also been sanctioned. This includes the heads of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kalmykia – some of Russia’s poorest ethnic republics, from which a significant number of conscripts have been drawn. In July, the UK sanctioned 29 regional governors for their role in providing financial support to Russian proxy administrations in Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

The Russian regime’s decision to partially mobilise Russian citizens was a desperate attempt to overwhelm the valiant Ukrainians defending their territory. It has failed.

Today we have sanctioned individuals who have enforced this conscription, sending thousands of Russian citizens to fight in Putin’s illegal and abhorrent war.

The UK will continue to use both sanctions and military aid to support Ukraine in the defence of their independence.

Arkady Gostev, Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation and Dmitry Bezrukikh, the head of the Federal Punishment Service of the Rostov region, have also been sanctioned.

Bezrukikh and Gostev have reportedly worked closely with oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, ally of Putin and head of the Wagner Group, to fill the ranks of the mercenary gang that is supporting Russia’s army in Ukraine.

They have drafted criminals, including murderers and sex offenders, in exchange for pardons from President Putin – resulting in Bezrukikh’s region being dubbed ‘The Wagner Group recruitment hub’.

Also sanctioned today are Ella Pamfilova, chairperson of the Central Election Commission and Andrey Burov, head of the regional election commission in Rostov, who were both responsible for organising the sham referendums in the four temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine. Pamfilova has since actively supported Russia’s forced mobilisation.

The UK has continued to support Ukraine through delivering vital military equipment, as well as implementing targeted sanctions to undermine the Russian war machine.

The UK has committed over £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including most recently a package including 25 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones.

UK sanctions are also having a significant impact on Russia’s ability to maintain their war machine. Technology imports have forced them to mobilise Soviet-era tanks and use semiconductors from kitchen appliances to restock equipment. Recent Defence Intelligence has shown that Russia is likely removing nuclear warheads from ageing cruise missiles, and using them in Ukraine, as a desperate attempt to maintain their assault.