The British government said on Monday it had introduced new sanctions, including against Russian education minister Sergey Kravtsov, related to what it describes as Moscow’s forced deportation of Ukrainian children.
Britain sanctioned 14 people in response to “Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukrainian national identity,” 11 of whom it said were involved in the forceable relocation of children.
“In his chilling program of forced child deportation, and the hate-filled propaganda spewed by his lackeys, we see Putin’s true intention – to wipe Ukraine from the map,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
“Today’s sanctions hold those who prop up Putin’s regime to account, including those who would see Ukraine destroyed, its national identity dissolved, and its future erased.”
Russian culture minister Olga Lyubimova was sanctioned for providing support for an promoting policies and actions which “destabilize Ukraine or threaten the territorial integrity,” Britain said.
Earlier this month, Russia said it had brought some 700,000 children from the conflict zones in Ukraine into Russian territory.
Moscow says its program of bringing children from Ukraine into Russian territory is to protect orphans and children abandoned in the conflict zone.
However, Ukraine says many children have been illegally deported and the United States says thousands of children have been forcibly removed from their homes. Ukraine’s Ministry of Integration of Occupied Territories has said 19,492 Ukrainian children are currently considered illegally deported.