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UK Sanctions Senior Russian Officers And Iranian Dronemaker

The United Kingdom has announced a new package of 16 sanctions targeting senior Russian commanders for their involvement in the Russian military and Iranian businessmen and officials involved in the production and/or supply of drones to Moscow, which is using the aircraft in its war against Ukraine to decimate the country's energy infrastructure.

The British government said in a statement on December 13 that 12 senior commanders of Russian military forces, including units implicated in attacks on Ukrainian cities, have been sanctioned. The list includes Major General Robert Baranov, identified by the Bellingcat investigative media group as the commander of a unit responsible for programming and targeting Russian cruise missiles.

Three Iranians and one Iranian company have also been targeted in the sanctions, which include an asset freeze, travel ban, and transport sanctions.

"The Iranian regime is increasingly isolated in the face of deafening calls for change from its own people and is striking sordid deals with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in a desperate attempt to survive," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in the statement.

"Putin wants to break Ukraine’s spirit, but he will not succeed. Ukraine will win, and Ukraine will rebuild," he added.

Cleverly was referring to current unrest in Iran over the death of a young woman while in police custody for allegedly wearing a head scarf improperly.

Anger over 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death has erupted into nationwide protests, presenting one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic leadership since it took power during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The statement said those targeted by the new sanctions include individuals facilitating the production of drones, including the co-owner and managing director of MADO, the company responsible for manufacturing engines for the drones that have been used by Russia in Ukraine.

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"The Iranian regime’s brutal repression of its own people and the threat it poses in the Middle East have left Iran isolated internationally and in desperate need of support from Putin," the statement said.

By RFE/RL

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