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Russian Foreign Ministry warns Russians against UK travel as sanctions hit Kabayeva

The Russian Foreign Ministry advised Russians to refrain from traveling to the UK or applying for British visas immediately after the British Foreign Office imposed sanctions against Putin's relatives and Alina Kabayeva.

«Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of Great Britain towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems we advise Russian citizens to refrain, if possible, from traveling to Great Britain and attempting to obtain British visas,» the ministry said in a statement.

On May 13, the British government imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva, head of the National Media Group's board of directors. Kabaeva's grandmother Anna Zatsepilina, Putin's ex-wife,Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, and his other relatives: Mikhail Putin, Igor Putin, Roman Putin and Mikhail Shelomov were also subjected to restrictions.

«Today’s sanctions will hit this cabal who owe Putin their wealth and power, and in turn support Putin and his war machine,» the British government said in a statement. »We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.»

Alina Kabaeva is a former Olympic gymnast. She became chairman of the board of directors of the National Media Group, which is reportedly Russia's largest private media company. According to media reports Kabaeva has a close relationship with Putin and they have children together. Previously, Kabaeva was a member of the State Duma from the United Russia party.

Alina Kabaeva's salary amounts to hundreds of millions of rubles per year. One of Vladimir Putin's superyachts, the 140-meter Scheherazade, was apparently in Kabaeva's use (the media called Kabaeva Scheherazade back in the early noughties).

Kabaeva's grandmother Anna Zatsepilina reportedly received a luxury apartment in Moscow from Putin's friend, the billionaire Gennady Timchenko.

Lyudmila Ocheretnaya also became the owner of a large fortune after her divorce with Putin in 2014. Her new husband Arthur Ocheretny bought a villa in France for 6 million euros.

Igor Putin is President Vladimir Putin's cousin and holds the position of the director of the Pechenga International Sea Port.

Mikhail Putin is Putin's cousin, deputy chairman of the SOGAZinsurance company and deputy chairman of the Gazprom management board.

Roman Putin is the president's first cousin once removed. Roman Putin claims the family connection enabled his company, Putin Consulting, to help foreign investors in Russia.

Mikhail Shelomov is a Russian business owner and Putin's first cousin. Shelomov's company Akcept LLC is connected with the firm Binom JSC, the firm registered as owning Putin's palace in Gelendzhik. The five managers of Binom are full-time employees of Akcept. Through Akcept, Shelomov is also a shareholder in Bank Rossiya, a Kremlin-linked bank run by key Putin aides, whom the United Kingdom sanctioned on February22, 2022.

Also on the British sanctions list are several other people: Alexander Plekhov, Putin's «close friend» and owner of Vital Development Corporation; Mikhail Klishin, executive director of Bank Rossiya and a member of SOGAZ Board of Directors; Vladimir Kolbin, the son of Putin's childhood friend and business partner Peter Kolbin, who supported the Russian government as general director of Gelendzhik Seaport LLC.

The Wall Street Journal's sources note that the United States has also prepared a package of sanctions against Kabayeva but fearstheir implementation would be perceived as a personal attack on Putin. A US Treasury Department official suggested that the Russian president might react aggressively to the imposition of such sanctions which could lead to further escalation of the conflict between Russia and the United States.

In total, the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on more than 1,000 individuals and 100 legal entities from the Russian Federation.

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