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Who are the oligarchs with Kremlin ties targeted in UK's new sanctions against Russia?

Boris Johnson has announced sanctions against a further five Russian oligarchs as the UK takes action against Vladimir Putin’s “cronies” in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The individuals all have close links to the Kremlin and their assets in this country will be frozen – with anyone in Britain banned from having any dealings with them – and they face a UK travel ban, Mr Johnson said.

This is what we know about them.

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Denis Bortnikov

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Denis Bortnikov is believed to have largely been sanctioned because of the influence of his father

Mr Bortnikov is the deputy president of the Russian state-owned VTB bank.

He also sits on the Compensations Committee of the bank’s Board of Directors.

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Mr Bortnikov is believed to have largely been sanctioned because of the influence of his father.

His father, Aleksandr Bortnikov, has been the director of Russia’s intelligence service the Federal Security Service (FSB) since 2008.

The FSB was blamed for the poisoning of political activist Alexei Navalny in August 2020 with a banned chemical agent from the Novichok group.

Given his long Kremlin service, Mr Bortnikov senior is often considered one of President Putin’s most loyal aides and is a key figure in his inner circle.

Mr Bortnikov senior and President Putin both joined what was the KGB in St Petersburg in 1975. President Putin left as a lieutenant colonel in 1991 to pursue politics, but Mr Bortnikov remained inside and rose up the ranks.

Mr Bortnikov senior was first sanctioned by the US in March 2021.

Kirill Shamalov

Kirill Shamalov
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Kirill Shamalov was previously married to Vladimir Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova

Russia’s youngest billionaire, Mr Shamalov is the son of Rossiya Bank shareholder Nikolai Shamalov, a long-term friend of Mr Putin.

Rossiya is one of the Russian banks that have been sanctioned by Mr Johnson.

Mr Shamalov was also previously married to Mr Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.

They are reported to have separated in 2018.

After becoming vice president of Russian petrochemical company Sibur at the age of 26, he went on to buy a stake in the firm from Gennady Timchenko, a long-term friend of President Putin who was the target of US sanctions.

He later sold most of his stake.

Mr Shamalov was also previously an adviser to the Russian government.

The US imposed sanctions on him in 2018 alongside 23 other Russian nationals.

Pyotr (Petr) Fradkov

Fradcov
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Pyotr Fradkov is the chairman and CEO of Promsvyazbank

The chairman and CEO of Promsvyazbank.

Since 2018, Mr Fradkov has worked to transform Promsvyabank into a bank that serves the defence industry and supports state defence contracts.

In his role, he has held work meetings with Vladimir Putin and participated in roundtable discussions in international forums in which he forecasts the bank’s long-term strategic plans for supporting the Russian defence industry.

Promsvyabank was targeted in the first round of sanctions announced by Mr Johnson on Tuesday and is critical to Russia’s defence sector.

Promsvyazbank oversees 70% of state contracts by the Russian Defence Ministry.

In February this year, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order sanctioning Mr Fradkov for operating or having operated in the defence and related material and financial services sectors of the Russian Federation economy.

He is also the son of the former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence (FSB).

Yury Slyusar

Yury
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Yury Slyusar (left) is general director of United Aircraft Corporation

General director of United Aircraft Corporation, one of the major defence organisations which is also being hit with an asset freeze.

The United Aircraft Corporation was established in 2006 to consolidate Russia’s main assets in aircraft design and production.

With a majority stake belonging to the Russian government, it consolidates Russian private and state-owned aircraft manufacturing companies and assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft.

Mr Slyusar told reporters last July that a new Russian warplane under manufacture by his firm was expected to take to the skies in 2023 with a first batch due to be produced in 2026.

He added that Russia planned to produce 300 of the aircraft over 15 years once serial production begins.

Mr Slyusar has previously held roles as assistant to the minister of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, director of the aviation-industry department at the Russian Federation and deputy minister of industry and trade.

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Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva

CEO of Novikombank, which bankrolls Rostec, Russia’s biggest defence company.

It is said to employ more than two million people and exports more than £10bn of arms a year.

Prior to this, she was director of Treasury at the Rostec group.

Those already sanctioned

Earlier this week, the UK sanctioned five Russian banks and a further three oligarchs, freezing their UK assets and banning travel to Britain.

The prime minister declared the “first barrage” of punitive measures were being taken against Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and his nephew Igor Rotenberg – with the trio described as “three very high net worth individuals”.

Gennady Timchenko

Gennady Timchenko. Pic: www.kremlin.ru
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Gennady Timchenko is a major shareholder in Rossiya, a bank which has been sanctioned by the UK government. Pic: www.kremlin.ru

Mr Timchenko is a billionaire ally of Mr Putin and one of the most powerful people in Russia.

According to Forbes, the 69-year-old is worth $23.5bn (£17.3bn) and has stakes in various Russian businesses, including gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sibur Holding.

He owns the private investment group Volga, which specialises in investments in energy, transport and infrastructure assets.

He is also chairman of the Russian national hockey league and president of the SKA Saint-Petersburg Hockey Club.

Mr Timchenko and Mr Putin have reportedly been friends since at least the early 1990s when the businessman was a St Petersburg oil trader and the now-Russian president was a rising politician.

Mr Timchenko went on to co-found Gunvor, a Swiss-based trading house that exports billions of dollars-worth of Russian oil.

He is a major shareholder in Rossiya, a Russian banks that have been sanctioned by Mr Johnson.

Rossiya is stakeholder in National Media Group which supported the destabilisation of Ukraine after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the UK government says.

It adds that Mr Timchenko has been involved in action that “undermines or threatens the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine”.

The US previously announced sanctions against Mr Timchenko in 2014.

Boris Rotenberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Vice President of the Judo Federation of Russia Boris Rotenberg after awarding him with the Order of Alexander Nevsky during a meeting at the Turbostroitel judo club in Saint Petersburg, Russia November 27, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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The UK government describes Mr Rotenberg as ‘a prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties’ to Mr Putin

Boris Rotenberg is a childhood friend of Putin and a co-owner of SMP Bank, along with his brother Arkady.

He is a former judo sparring partner of the Russian president and the pair often play ice hockey together.

According to Forbes, Mr Rotenberg is worth $1.2bn (£886m).

The UK government describes Mr Rotenberg as “a prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties” to Mr Putin.

It says he has benefitted from supporting the Russian government through his role at SMP Bank.

The Rotenberg brothers were hit by US sanctions and had assets frozen in 2014 because of their close ties to Mr Putin.

The US Treasury claimed that the Russian president had awarded the Rotenbergs billions of dollars in contracts with gas giant Gazprom and for the Sochi Olympics.

Boris Rotenberg’s son Roman was recently named head coach of leading ice hockey team SKA St Petersburg despite never having played or managed professionally.

His other son, also named Boris, played as a defender for Dynamo Moscow football club from 2011-2016, sparking allegations that he was in the team only because his father was chairman.

Igor Rotenberg

Igor Rotenberg
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Igor Rotenberg controls drilling company Gazprom Bureniye

Igor Rotenberg is the son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, a close friend of Mr Putin.

The 48-year-old controls drilling company Gazprom Bureniye and is worth $1.1bn, according to Forbes.

After the US imposed sanctions against his father in 2014, Mr Rotenberg bought his father’s stakes in some assets.

The UK government says Mr Rotenberg is “a prominent Russian businessmen with close familial ties to President Putin”.

He is chairman of the board of directors of National Telematic Systems and a shareholder in RT-Invest Transport System, which are “of strategic significance to the government of Russia”, it adds.

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