Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has imposed restrictive measures on dozens of employees of the Russian special services, according to a decree published on Nov. 18 on the presidential website.
“[I hereby decree] to activate the Aug. 20, 2021 decision of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council [NSDC] on applying personal special economic and other restrictive measures,” the decree said, Russian news agency TASS reported.
The individuals, which includes 23 Russian citizens and five Ukrainians, will be banned for three years from using their assets in the Eastern European nation, transferring capital, transiting goods, or taking part in privatization auctions, according to the decree.
According to an addendum to the decree obtained by TASS, the individuals on the list include a number of Ukrainians who are registered in the regions of self-proclaimed republics Donetsk and Lugansk, which are not under the control of Kiev.
Ukraine has already imposed sanctions on thousands of Russian entities since relations between Kiev and Moscow collapsed in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea and backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Concerns over Russian troop movements fueled recent tensions.
In mid-November, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence announced that a large number of Russian troops had been left behind near the Ukrainian border after Russia held a series of large-scale military drills. The Ukrainian president said on Nov. 13 that the number of Russian troops in the region totaled 100,000.
Zelensky signing the decree also came just several days after Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on Nov. 15 signed a decree on trade with the separatist-controlled areas, a move claimed by the country’s foreign ministry as “gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.”
Boris Gryzlov, a Russian envoy, said on Nov. 18 that Putin’s decree on trade in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions contributes to “overcoming the aggressive economic and humanitarian blockade of Donbass and stabilizing the social and economic situation in the region,” TASS reported.
“This is a purely humanitarian response to Kiev’s non-fulfillment of the Minsk accords, the economic and transport blockade of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that has been in place since 2017, and the liberation of the region’s residents from the economic stranglehold created by the Kiev regime,” the envoy said.
Russian-backed separatists have fought since 2014 against Ukrainian forces in the Donbass, a conflict that Kiev says has killed 14,000 people.
The conflict erupted in the months after Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014. Ukraine and Western countries say Donbass separatists have been armed, led, funded, and aided by Russians, including active Russian troops. Moscow has denied interfering. While a ceasefire halted full-scale warfare in 2015, sporadic deadly fighting never ceased.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From NTD News