Britain hits back after Russia imprisons dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza

Britain hits back after Russia imprisons dissident: Judge and Putin spies who poisoned British-Russian activist and judge are put on sanctions list

  • Russia’s imprisonment of Vladimir Kara-Murza prompted Britain to act fast
  • Five more people have now had sanctions placed on them over the jailing 

The UK today sanctioned five people including two Russian spies following the imprisonment of a British-Russian dissident for 25 years in Moscow.

Vladimir Kara-Murza was jailed on Monday after being convicted of treason and spreading false information about the Russian army in a process he described as a ‘show trial’.

The Kremlin critic, a close ally of murdered opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, has already survived two poisonings that left him in a coma in 2015 and 2017.

The Foreign Office has now placed sanctions on three individuals involved in his arrest and two members of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, who followed Mr Kara-Murza prior to his poisonings.

Those sanctioned for their involvement in Mr Kara-Murza’s arrest have been named as Elena Lenskaya, the judge who approved the arrest, and investigators Denis Kolesnikov and Andrei Zadachin.

The judge in Moscow took only minutes to rule on the case and demanded Kara-Murza should be sent to a ‘strict regime correctional colony’

Kara-Murza’s wife Evgenia (pictured) said the long prison term was ‘recognition’ of her husband’s work

FSB agents Alexander Samofal and Konstantin Kudryavtsev have also been sanctioned, with the Foreign Office saying they were part of an ‘operational team’ that followed Mr Kara-Murza on multiple trips before he was poisoned.

READ MORE: Now UK goes after the oligarchs’ wives and daughters: Glamorous relatives holding property on behalf of Putin’s inner circle are added to UK sanctions list over Ukraine war

The five people will now be subject to travel bans and asset freezes.

It comes after wives and daughters of Russian oligarchs had their assets frozen and been hit with travel bans.

Oksana Marchenko, the wife of key Putin ally Victor Medvedchuk, and owner of multiple luxury properties in Crimea was among them.

The TV star, and friend of Putin, has previously begged for the release of her husband from a Ukrainian prison on video.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: ‘Russia’s treatment and conviction of Vladimir Kara-Murza once again demonstrates its utter contempt for basic human rights.

‘Today five individuals connected to his case have been sanctioned, sending a clear message that the UK will not stand for this treatment of one of its citizens.

‘The UK will continue to support Mr Kara-Murza and his family. I call on Russia to release him immediately and unconditionally.’

The judge who presided over Mr Kara-Murza’s trial and the head of the detention centre where he is being held have already been sanctioned in connection with another case.

Following his imprisonment on Monday, Mr Cleverly praised Mr Kara-Murza, who holds a British passport, for ‘bravely’ speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and summoned the Russian ambassador to explain his country’s actions.

The dissident’s wife, Evgenia Kara-Murza, had called for the UK to sanction those involved in his prosecution, saying she was ‘baffled’ that sanctions had not come sooner.

Russia said it was unbothered about the new sanctions in a blistering retort, insulting the UK.

Medvedev, deputy chairman of Putin’s Security Council, said: ‘Britain was, is and will be our eternal enemy.

‘At least until their impudent and disgustingly damp island disappears into the abyss of the sea from the wave created by the latest Russian weapons system.’

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