Australia has imposed new sanctions on 22 Russian nationals it accuses of being “disinformation operatives,” as well as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family over support for Moscow.
The Foreign Ministry announced the penalties on Friday, saying those who have attempted to “legitimize” Russia’s attack on Ukraine must be made to “pay a high cost.”
“The Australian Government has… placed new sanctions on 22 additional Russian propagandists and purveyors of disinformation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that they include “senior editors” at RT, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos, and the Crimea-based outlet Newsfront.
While officials did not name any of the editors targeted or offer any examples of supposed “disinformation,” it noted that the government has now slapped penalties on “a total of 32 pro-Kremlin propagandists,” highlighting the “strategic importance of disinformation.”
In addition to the media figures, the Foreign Ministry also declared new sanctions for the leader of Belarus over the country’s “support to Russia and its military forces.” The president’s son Viktor Lukashenko – who “previously held senior national security roles” – as well as First Lady Galina Lukashenko, were also targeted.