Australia unveiled new sanctions on 67 Russian officials on Thursday, bringing the total number of sanctioned “individuals and entities” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “close to 600,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The latest sanctions target prominent Russian businessmen, as well as senior military and government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko, Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov, and senior Russian politician Alexander Babakov.
Among those in the latest listings is Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, named responsible for attacks on “innocent civilians,” including the “bombing of the theater” in Mariupol.
“This latest round of sanctions follows the emergence of evidence of war crimes committed by Russia in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv,” the statement said. “Australia condemns these atrocities in the strongest possible terms.”
“The horror is almost unspeakable, and we see it every day. But I do think Australians can be proud of the effort that our country is making to support Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne told local radio station 2GB.
Some background: A chorus of world leaders have called for increased sanctions and war crimes investigations on Russia, following the alleged atrocities in the town of Bucha, northwest of the capital Kyiv.
Shortly after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Bucha, civilian bodies were found strewn across a street and a mass grave was discovered, with the mayor of the town saying that there could be up to 300 victims buried on site.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden declared “major war crimes” were being discovered in Ukraine as the White House announced new sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institutions and a number of individuals tied to the Kremlin — including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters.