The British government has put the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, on a sanction list for his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kirill and others on the sanctions list will no longer be allowed to enter the UK. Their assets are also frozen.
The British Foreign Office announced the measures on Thursday, two weeks after Kirill was removed from a proposed European Union sanctions list. The EU decided to do so under pressure from Hungary.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he does not want to punish religious leaders. The Hungarians got their way because otherwise the agreed oil embargo against Russia would be jeopardized.
The Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, has also been placed on the British sanctions list. Under her supervision, 2000 Ukrainian children are said to have been forcibly adopted in Russia.
In addition, four senior military personnel are on the list. According to London, they were part of a unit that “killed, raped and tortured” civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.