The Australian Government has imposed new sanctions on Russian purveyors of propaganda and disinformation who have sought to legitimise Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as well as political and security figures and entities who have supported the invasion.
The Russian Government is driving a widespread disinformation campaign both within Russia and internationally. President Putin has attacked freedom of speech and dissent in Russia to supress factual reporting on its war against Ukraine and its egregious war crimes, and to damage perceptions of Ukraine and its international supporters.
We have listed for sanctions 11 individuals and 12 entities for promoting Russian propaganda and disinformation, building on the measures already taken against 32 propagandists in March 2022. They include individuals in the Russian media industry who promote the Russian Government’s false narratives.
Australia is also imposing targeted financial sanctions against entities including “troll farms” that generate and spread disinformation online, many of which are linked to Russian intelligence services.
Among the three entities and four individuals being sanctioned for their roles in Russia’s invasion is the private military company “Wagner”, described as a defacto private army of Russian President Putin. Wagner’s mercenaries are supporting Russian-backed separatists in the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The other two entities are the Belarusian defence enterprises Industrial-Commercial Private Unitary Enterprise Minotor-Service and OJSC KB Radar-Managing Company of Radar Systems Holding. Both companies produce sophisticated equipment used by the Armed Forces of Belarus, who have in turn provided significant strategic support to Russian forces.
The four individuals being sanctioned for supporting the invasion are Aleksandr Chupriyan, acting Minister of Emergencies for the Russian Federation; Sergei Korolyov, First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB); Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia; and Illia Kyva, a pro-Russian former member of the Ukrainian Parliament.
The Australian Government continues to inflict costs on Russia, in co-ordination with our partners, by targeting those who share responsibility for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or hold levers of influence. With these additional listings announced today, Australia has now sanctioned 827 individuals and 62 entities in response to Russia’s invasion.
Separately, we have listed for sanctions the Russian Imperial Movement, a Russian ultra-nationalist group that conducts paramilitary-style training through a course called Partizan. It is also known for its anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTIQ, and anti-Ukrainian views and has sent foreign fighters to join Russian separatists in Ukraine.