The Australian Government has placed sanctions on a further 22 Russian propagandists and disinformation operatives, and on the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family.
“These latest steps, one month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continue our focussed efforts to ensure that Russia and those who support its illegal, unprovoked invasion of its democratic neighbour, pay a high cost,” said Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne.
The Australian Government has also placed new sanctions on 22 additional Russian propagandists and purveyors of disinformation, including senior editors from organisations including Russia Today, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos and NewsFront.
Australia has now sanctioned a total of 32 pro-Kremlin propagandists, reflecting the strategic importance of disinformation in Russia’s attempts to legitimise Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Minister said.
“The Government of Belarus, under President Lukashenko, continues to provide strategic support to Russia and its military forces in their assault on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We are also placing sanctions on his son Viktor Lukashenko, who previously held senior national security roles in the Belarussian Government, and his wife Galina Lukashenko, the First Lady of Belarus.”
“The sanctions announced today are in addition to sanctions previously imposed on 13 Belarusian individuals and entities, including Belarusian Minister of Defence Viktor Khrenin, who have played a role of significant strategic importance to Russia by allowing Russia to launch attacks from Belarus.
“The Belarusian Government allowed Russian military forces to train in their country for weeks ahead of the invasion. Since then, it has allowed Russia to fire ballistic missiles from Belarus into Ukraine, enabled the transport of Russian military personnel, heavy weapons and tanks into Ukraine, provided refuelling points in Belarus for Russian military aircraft and stored Russian weapons and military equipment.
“The Australian Government reiterates our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for the people of Ukraine.
“Australia, in close coordination with our partners, will continue to impose further sanctions to inflict significant costs on those in Russia and Belarus who bear responsibility or hold levers of power.
“We again call upon Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces from Ukraine,” said Minister Payne.