Intensifying war, Russia sanctions 322 people and 68 businesses
Russia on Nov. 1 carried out its threat to sanction Ukrainian individuals and companies, with presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and President Petro Poroshenko’s son, Oleksiy, among those targeted.
The resolution introducing the measures, signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, reads that the sanctions are being imposed because of Ukraine’s “unfriendly measures contradicting international law.”
The latest intensification of Russia's war further widens the already diverging paths the two former Soviet republics are taking — Ukraine's towards democracy and Western integration; Russia's towards the kind of autocracy and violent imperial aspirations that have characterized Moscow's rulers in history.
The resolution imposed sanctions on 332 individuals and 68 companies in Ukraine, and foresees the freezing of funds, securities and property belonging to the sanctioned persons and companies in Russia, as well as a ban on the transfer of their funds out of Russia.
The move is seen as a response to Ukraine’s sanctions on Russia, imposed in May 2017 and on May 14, 2018, prompted by Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the Donbas.
Ukraine has so far sanctioned 400 companies and about 1,000 individuals in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Oct. 22 that he had ordered the Russian government to prepare sanctions against Ukraine.
Medvedev’s resolution reads that the list of sanctioned Ukrainian com- panies and citizens is subject to review, and that the mentioned measures might be lifted if Ukraine lifts its sanctions on Russian citizens and companies.
Who’s on the list?
Politicians, diplomats, businesspeople, government officials, high-ranking army officers, and business executives, along with public figures, were targeted by the Kremlin sanctions.
The list also includes people born in Russia and working for Ukrainebased companies, such as Oleksiy Pertin, who was born in the Russian city of Cherepovets, Pertin works for Smart Holding, a Ukrainian industrial conglomerate owned by opposition lawmaker Vadym Novynskyi, a supporter of the Moscow-backed branch of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, who once called for a compromise deal between Ukraine and Russia in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, was also on the list, which gave the sanctioned persons’ names in both Russian and Ukrainian.
Most of the companies named are from the agriculture and commodities sectors. The list includes the State Food and Grain corporation of Ukraine, Zernoprodukt, poultry producer MHP, several ore mining plants, Nika Agrotrade, and others.
The business empires of several Ukrainian oligarchs are targeted — including those of Victor Pinchuk (StarLightMedia, Bank Credit Dnipro and others), Kostyantyn Zhevago (AvtoKrAZ), and Yuriy Kosiuk (MHP Group). Ukraine’s richest oligarch Rinat Akhmetov was only tangentially hit with Oleg Popov, the CEO of Akhmetov’s SCM Group, being included in the list.
Ukraine’s pharmaceuticals industry was also targeted. Pharmaceuticals company Farmak and its director and owner Filya Zhebrivska were on the list, as were the father-and-son owners of the Darnitsa pharmaceutical plant, Volodymyr and Glib Zagoriy.
The list also includes three companies registered in Western Europe: Swiss-registered Ferrexpo, owned by Zhevago, British EastOne Group owned by Pinchuk, and UK-based Toledo Mining Corporation.
One of the first domestic companies to comment on the sanctions was MHP Group. The group said the sanctions would have no influence on its operations as it doesn’t do business in Russia.
Who’s not on the list?
Many Ukrainian politicians will thank the Kremlin for including them on the list, as this will boost their patriotic credentials, Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko wrote in a blog on Korrespondent. net.
However, Fesenko said that the focus should be not on who is on the list, but rather on who isn’t.
The list omitted a number of prominent Ukrainian politicians, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, and opposition leader Yuriy Boiko, a crony of runaway former President Viktor Yanukovych, ousted on Feb. 22, 2014 by the 100-day EuroMaidan Revolution.
Instead, the Kremlin targeted the head of Presidential Administration, Ihor Rainin, the president’s son and lawmaker Oleksiy Poroshenko, the first assistant to the President Yuriy Onishchenko, and Poroshenko’s long-term aid and lawmaker Irina Friz.
The list also contains at least one mistake, it appears.
Yevhen Vasylyovych Karas, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist group C14, stated on Facebook that the Kremlin had mistakenly listed his near-namesake Yevhen Valeriyovych Karas, an artist and gallery owner, rather than himself.
The Russian flag flies over the Russian Embassy in Kyiv on March 28, 2018. Russia on Nov. 1 announced sanctions against 322 individuals and 68 enterprises in Ukraine. (AFP)