Britain announced on Wednesday that it had imposed sanctions on Jewish-Russian billionaire Moshe Kantor, who serves as president of the European Jewish Council and vice-president of the Jewish Council.
Kantor appeared on the latest list of individuals and entities punished in Russia and was listed as the largest shareholder in the fertilizer company Acron, which has strategic ties with the Russian government.
A Jewish philanthropist who, according to Forbes, has an estimated net worth of $ 7.6 billion, has donated to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in the past and funded the World Holocaust Forum site.
In response to the move, the EJC said it was “deeply shocked and shocked. It called the decision “discriminatory” and added that Kantor had not lived in Russia for many years and was dedicated to “the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.
“We demand that this decision be reversed as soon as possible.
Other Russian-affiliated Russian-sanctioned businessmen on Wednesday include Andrey Akimov, Aleksander Dyukov, Andrey Guryev, Sergey Kogogin, Sergey Sergeyevich, Leonid Mikhelson and Boris Rotenberg.
Both the United States and Britain announced new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday after Ukraine said hundreds of civilians had been found dead around the country’s capital, as Kyiv warned residents in the east of the country to get out “now” ahead of a feared attack.
The White House introduced measures targeting Russia’s main public and private banks and two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, while Britain imposed sanctions on two banks besides the businessmen – and vowed to eliminate all Russian oil and gas imports by the end of the year.
Their actions came in the wake of international protests after Ukraine said its troops had found hundreds of civilians dead around the capital, Kyiv, including the town of Bucha, after Russian troops withdrew.
In a video address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky showed gruesome images of bodies – including of children – that he said were victims of Russia’s atrocities.
The Kremlin denies responsibility, and on Wednesday Putin accused the Ukrainian authorities of being behind a “gross and suspicious provocation” in Bucha.
Russia’s evacuation from areas around Kyiv and the north is part of a shift in focus towards southeastern Ukraine, in order to create a land bridge between the occupied Crimean peninsula and separatists backed by Moscow in the Donbas region.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, on Wednesday warned residents of eastern Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk to leave immediately due to fears of a Russian attack.
“It has to be done now because later on people will be shot and face death threats,” she wrote on Telegram.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no indication that Putin had given up “his ambition to rule all of Ukraine”.
“We have to be realistic and realize that this could last for a long time, many months, even years,” he told a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
“Crossed their necks”
Zelensky called for Russia’s expulsion from the UN Security Council, of which it is one of five members with a veto, and called for action to be taken in response to the killings of civilians.
“They cut off limbs … cut themselves on the neck. “Women were raped and murdered in front of their children,” he said, after comparing the Russian attack with the Nazi bombing of Guernica in 1937.
The United States and Britain have also called for Russia to be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council, with a vote in the General Assembly on Thursday.
During his weekly hearing at the Vatican, Pope Francis lamented the “powerlessness of international organizations” for what he called “ever-increasing atrocities,” before kissing a flag flown from Bucha.
Thousands have been killed and more than 11 million have been displaced as refugees or within Ukraine since the Russian invasion, which caused Europe’s worst refugee problems since World War II.
The West has already imposed a crippling economic sanction on Russia, which forced Moscow on Wednesday to repay its foreign debt in dollar-denominated rubles, increasing the likelihood of a possible default.
The new sanctions in Washington were imposed on Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, two of Putin’s adult daughters, as well as the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia’s Security Council.
The White House also declared a “full-blown crackdown” on Russia’s largest public and private financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, and said all new US investment in Russia was now banned.
The UK froze while foreign assets Sberbank – Russia’s largest bank – and Credit Bank of Moscow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said that what happened in Bucha “does not seem to me to be a genocide.
The EU is also in a position to implement the fifth round of sanctions to stop coal imports from Russia – and Charles Michel, the leader of the Council of Europe, said that “sooner or later” it would also have to impose oil and gas sanctions.
He condemned the “war crimes” in Russia and said: “There must be, and there will be, serious consequences for all those responsible.
But when Zelensky addressed the Irish parliament on Wednesday, he condemned the “determination” of European nations, which are dependent on Russian energy.
He called for Russian banks to be completely excluded from Western finances.
In other efforts to isolate Moscow, EU countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, have expelled more than 200 Russian diplomats and their staff this week.
The Kremlin called the mass deportation a “short-sighted operation” that would hamper efforts to negotiate an end to the war.
Peace talks between the two parties have so far failed, although Moscow says it is “ready” to continue.
Putin also warned of “retaliation” for recent European operations targeting Russian gas giant Gazprom – and said Moscow would “monitor” its food exports to “hostile” nations, prompting speculation of shortages and price increases.
Cluster munitions fly
Satellite images taken while Bucha was still under Moscow control show what appears to be corpses lying on the streets, where the dead were later found by Ukrainian forces and seen by journalists.
Many Bucha residents told AFP they had seen Russian troops kill civilians.
“Right in front of my eyes, they shot at a man who was going to get food in a supermarket,” said the 43-year-old Olena, who refused to give her last name.
During a brutal clean-up, the remains of partially burnt corpses in black bags were lifted into a van, where officials told reporters that “dozens too” were left in apartments and in a nearby forest.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who will visit Kyiv this week, has offered the Alliance assistance in recording evidence of war crimes.
Destruction images have met those who venture into other areas where Russian troops have withdrawn.
In the northern city of Chernihiv, which was under siege from the first days of the invasion, a charred orphanage, full of bullets and bomb holes, served as a shelter.
“Bombers flew, we have traces of these bombs,” said 51-year-old Olena Makoviy. The injured were taken to a children’s hospital, both adults and children.
City officials estimate that about 350 civilians were killed in Chernigiv, where other residents are digging mass graves to bury them.
“It was very scary here from the first days of the war,” Makoviy said. “They brought boys, handsome, young, but no longer alive.