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Britain sanctions Russian media to fight disinformation

Britain has announced sanctions on a further 14 Russian entities and people on Thursday. These include state media organisations behind RT and Sputnik, and some senior figures, who are said to be pushing President Vladimir Putin’s “fake news and narratives.”

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Britain has already sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and businesses in an attempt to cripple Russia’s economy. Among those sanctioned on Thursday were RT’s managing director Alexey Nikolov, Sergey Brilev – a prominent news anchor at the state-owned Rossiya Television and Radio network, and Sputnik editor-in-chief Anton Anisimov.

The government said it was also directly sanctioning state media organisations, including Kremlin-funded TV-Novosti which owns RT, and Rossiya Segodnya, which controls news agency Sputnik.

“Putin’s war on Ukraine is based on a torrent of lies,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement. “Britain has helped lead the world in exposing Kremlin disinformation, and this latest batch of sanctions hits the shameless propagandists who push out Putin’s fake news and narratives.”

Putin's war on Ukraine is founded on lies. Today I have announced new sanctions targeting Russian state media and the Kremlin mouthpieces who spew Putin’s propaganda.

This includes Mikhail Mizintsev, responsible for the appalling shelling of Mariupol 👇

— Liz Truss (@trussliz) March 31, 2022

Britain’s new sanctions also include seven individuals connected to Russian think tank the Strategic Culture Foundation, which was recently sanctioned by Australia for their role in spreading disinformation, as well as Russia’s Chief of the National Defence Command and Control Centre Mikhail Mizinitsev, whom the British government called “responsible for planning and executing the siege and bombardment of Mariupol.” Britain has also used sanctions to target Russia’s access to the international financial system, as well as industries such as shipping and defence, and wealthy elites close to Putin.

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