The British government has announced 92 more sanctions targeting Russian officials over “illegal sham referendums” in four Ukrainian regions.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced the new sanctions in response to the Russian regime imposing “sham referendums in four regions of Ukraine – a clear violation of international law, including the UN charter.”
In a statement, the government said that the Russian regime was holding the referendums “in a desperate attempt to grab land and justify their illegal war.”
The statement said: “The process reflects their approach in Crimea in 2014, combining disinformation, intimidation, and fake results.
“These referendums do not represent the demonstrated will of the Ukrainian people and are a severe violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and political independence.”
Cleverly said: “Sham referendums held at the barrel of a gun cannot be free or fair and we will never recognise their results. They follow a clear pattern of violence, intimidation, torture, and forced deportations in the areas of Ukraine Russia has seized.”
“Today’s sanctions will target those behind these sham votes, as well as the individuals that continue to prop up the Russian regime’s war of aggression.
“We stand with the Ukrainian people and our support will continue as long as it takes to restore their sovereignty,” he added.
Separatist-controlled Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, which are partly under Russian control, have been holding referendums on joining Russia.
The referendums have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US terming them "sham" referendums and saying they will not be recognized.