It is not to say that sanctioning UK-based oligarchs won’t damage Putin’s war machine – crippling the Russian economy is crucial to slowing down the Invasion – but to wait as long as Boris Johnson has done, and to stop a mere list of seven, is risible. It has been fifteen days since Russian troops first crossed the Belarusian border, and only yesterday were names of sanctioned oligarchs announced. In that time, many suspect, some of which, with the example of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may have been able to move their assets out of the UK’s financial services. According to Transparency International, over 2,000 UK-registered companies have links to the laundering of Russian money, much of it grown from the fire-sale of Soviet industries 20 years ago. What makes the sanctions imposed by a proud Johnson government ring so hollow is the Tory Party’s own connection to the scandal; the SNP’s Ian Blackford claimed just last month that over £2.3 million of the Conservatives’ finances have been donated from wealthy Russian businessmen. Holding sanctions to be an all-encompassing solution to the unfolding humanitarian crisis simply isn’t genuine, and in the meantime, more than two million Ukrainians have been displaced whilst the British government sees fierce criticism for its narrow ‘family scheme’ for refugees.
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