From ‘Putin’s chef’ to the RT editor: names expected to appear on EU sanctions list

The EU has approved asset freezes and travel bans on various Russian people and entities in response to Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.

The list of those targeted has not been officially confirmed, but here are five of the most prominent names the Guardian has seen on a draft list.

Sergei Shoigu

Russia’s minister of defence has overseen the military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and would manage the war effort if Russia chooses to launch a wider invasion. He is a rare member of Putin’s inner circle who did not serve in KGB, military or intelligence circles. He served as minister for emergency situations from 1991 to 2012, before being appointed defence minister by Putin with the task of modernising the Russian military.

Alongside Putin’s senior aides, Shoigu has been involved in key decisions, such as the annexation of Crimea, because of his oversight of the military and the aggressive GRU intelligence agency. He also has direct access to Putin, including during their regular hunting and fishing trips together in Siberia. Shoigu is from Tuva, a Buddhist republic in Siberia that borders Mongolia.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

‘Putin’s chef’ is the financier behind a network of paid trolls that allegedly tried to influence the 2016 US presidential election.
‘Putin’s chef’ is the financier behind a network of paid trolls that allegedly tried to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

The St Petersburg-based businessman has been dubbed “Putin’s chef” because of the restaurants and catering businesses where he made his fortune in the 1990s. Since then his business interests have expanded into government contracts and other endeavours, allegedly including a troll factory, a private military company, and global influence operations that have landed him on numerous sanctions lists.

According to the US Treasury Department, Prigozhin is the Russian financier of the Internet Research Agency, a network of websites and paid trolls that allegedly tried to influence the 2016 US…

Read full story at the guardian.com

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