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Live news updates: US to send $800mn of new military aid to Ukraine

The UK has imposed sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime as well as on a number of Russian military leaders, including a commander blamed by Ukraine for civilian deaths in Bucha, as the war is set to go into its third month.

The government on Thursday unveiled trade sanctions against Russia hours after it had singled out a number of individuals and businesses as part of international attempts to “isolate the Russian economy” and shut down “lucrative avenues of funding”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the UK would increase tariffs by 35 per cent on some Russian and Belarusian goods, including diamonds. The UK expanded the list of products subject to import bans, the department for international trade said, to include goods such as caviar and silver.

The UK “is working closely with our international partners to inflict maximum damage to Putin’s regime, reducing the resources and funds he needs to carry out this illegal war”, Trevelyan said.

“We are taking every opportunity we can to ratchet the pressure to isolate the Russian economy and these further measures will tighten the screws, shutting down lucrative avenues of funding for Putin’s war machine.”

These sanctions will bring the total import tariffs and bans on Russian goods to more than £1bn, Sunak said.

The latest squeeze on Putin’s regime comes hours after the UK froze the assets and applied travel bans on seven individuals, with a further 19 people and companies facing sanctions in concert with the EU and the G7 group of industrialised nations.

“The depravity of Russia’s assault on the people of Ukraine is plain for all to see,” said foreign secretary Liz Truss. “They are deliberately targeting hospitals, schools and transport hubs in Mariupol and beyond.”

Those hit by London’s measures include Azatbek Omurbekov, a lieutenant colonel nicknamed “the butcher of Bucha” for his alleged role in civilian deaths in the town north-west of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Western countries have slapped restrictions on Russian-linked individuals and businesses since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Read More: Live news updates: US to send $800mn of new military aid to Ukraine

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