2 Russian Arctic governors are on the UK’s latest sanction list

The leaders of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Komi Republic are sanctioned for their efforts supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - July 29, 2022
Vladimir Uyba, governor of the Komi Republic in Russia’s Arctic, is among the governors included in the latest round of U.K sanctions. (Uyba on Telegram via The Independent Barents Observer)

Following their support to warriors and secessionists in Russian-occupied Ukraine, the governors of the far northern regions of Komi and Yamal-Nenets have been put on the United Kingdom’s sanctions list.

“I consider the sanctions by Great Britain a sign of high approval of my work,” Dmitry Artyukhov, governor of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, says in a comment on Telegram.

Artyukhov is one of 29 Russian regional leaders that was included in the UK’s latest sanction package against Russia on July 29.

The new sanctions come as  Artyukhov just arrived home from a trip to Kherson, a southern Ukrainian city occupied by Russia.

“I just came back from Kherson where I went to support our soldiers,” he says in a statement, and adds that his wealthy oil and gas region is actively supporting construction works in Volnovakha, an occupied town in the Donetsk region.

During his visit to the occupied territories, the governor met with warriors from his region and with with Denis Pushilin, head of Russia’s puppet government in the Donetsk. The Yamal-Nenets region will reportedly have responsibility for restoration of infrastructure in Volnovakha.

Among the sanctioned governors is also leader of the Komi Republic. Vladimir Uyba has for the past month regularly appeared in public with a uniform carrying a “Z,” the symbol of Russia’s aggressive war.

In early June, Uyba traveled to the Luhansk region where he met with Leonid Pasechnik, the ruler of Russian-controlled so-called Luhansk People’s Republic.

The Komi Republic is among the Russian regions commissioned to actively engage in rebuilding efforts in the region.

A list shared by 7×7-journal shows almost 30 Russian federal subjects involved in reconstruction efforts in Donbas. The Komi Republic is listed as responsible for “social objects in the LNR.”

In a statement, the U.K. government says that the Russian governors have been directed by the Kremlin to transfer funds to the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, facilitating the Russian occupation in attempting to wrest territory from Ukraine.

“We will not keep quiet and watch Kremlin-appointed state actors suppress the people of Ukraine or the freedoms of their own people,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says. “We will continue to impose harsh sanctions on those who are trying to legitimize Putin’s illegal invasion until Ukraine prevails,” she adds.

The sanctions include a travel ban and asset freeze.