Britain imposes sanctions on EJC chief Moshe Cantor in latest round of measures against Russia

Britain announced on Wednesday that it had imposed sanctions on Jewish-Russian billionaire Moshe Cantor, who holds the presidency of the European Jewish Council and vice-president of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Appearing on the latest list of individuals and legal entities subject to sanctions in Russia, Cantor found himself as the largest shareholder of the fertilizer company “Akron”, which has strategic ties with the Russian government.

The Jewish philanthropist, who is estimated by Forbes to have $ 7.6 billion, has in the past donated to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and funded the World Holocaust Forum on the site.

In response to the move, the EJC said it was “deeply shocked and shocked”. He called the decision “wrong”, adding that Kantar had not lived in Russia for many years and was dedicated to “fighting anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia”.

“We urge that this decision be reversed as soon as possible.”

Other Russian official events play in the UK in the Great, including Andrei Akimov, Alexander Diukov, Andrei Guriev, Sergei Kogogin, Sergey Sergeyevich, Leonid Mikhelson and Boris Rotenberg.

The United States and Britain announced new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday after Ukraine said hundreds of civilians had been found dead around its capital, and Kyiv had warned residents in the east to come out “now” in the face of a feared attack.

The White House has issued measures against Russia’s major public and private banks and two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, while Britain has imposed sanctions on two banks other than businessmen and has promised to eliminate all Russian oil and gas imports by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson (left) and US President Joe Biden arrive for a meeting of G7 leaders at the NATO Summit at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022 (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / POOL / AFP)

Their actions followed an international resonance after Ukraine said its forces had discovered hundreds of civilians around the capital Kyiv, including the city of Bucha, following the withdrawal of Russian troops.

In a video address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky demonstrated painful images of corpses – including children – who he said had fallen victim to Russian atrocities.

The Kremlin denies responsibility, and on Wednesday Putin accused Ukrainian authorities of being behind “gross and cynical provocations” in Bucha.

Russia’s withdrawal from areas around Kiev and the north is part of a shift in focus to southeastern Ukraine in a bid to build a land bridge between occupied Crimea and Moscow-backed separatist states in the Donbass region.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a remote meeting during a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 5, 2022 at the UN headquarters. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Verashchuk on Wednesday warned residents of the eastern Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions to leave immediately due to the Russian attack.

“It must be done now, because then people will be under fire and threatened with death,” she wrote in the Telegram.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there were no signs that Putin had given up “his ambitions to control all of Ukraine.”

“We need to be realistic and realize that this can take a long time, many months, even years,” he said before meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

US President Joe Biden (left) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (right) arrive before the NATO Extraordinary Summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

‘cut their throats’

Zelensky called for Russia’s exclusion from the UN Security Council, where it is one of five veto-wielding members, and called for action in response to the killings of civilians.

“They cut off the limbs … cut the throat. Women were raped and killed in front of their children, ”he said, comparing an earlier Russian attack to the Nazi bombing of Guernica in 1937.

The United States and Britain have also called for Russia’s exclusion from the UN Human Rights Council, with a vote in the General Assembly scheduled for Thursday.

At a weekly audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis expressed regret over the “powerlessness of international organizations” before calling it “even more horrific cruelty” before kissing a flag brought from Bucha.

Thousands have been killed and more than 11 million have been forced to relocate to or from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, sparking Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Refugees from Ukraine walk on the platform on arrival by train from Odessa to the railway station in Przemyśl, south-eastern Poland, April 6, 2022 (Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)

Western nations have already imposed devastating economic sanctions on Russia, forcing Moscow to pay off its foreign debt on ruble-denominated ruble bonds on Wednesday, raising the prospect of a potential default.

Washington’s new sanctions have targeted Maria Vorontsova and Ekaterina Tikhonova, Putin’s two adult daughters, as well as the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of Russia’s Security Council.

The White House has also announced sanctions on a “complete blockade” against Russia’s largest public and private financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfa Bank, and said all new US investment in Russia is now banned.

Meanwhile, Britain has frozen the foreign assets of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and Moscow’s Credit Bank.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said that what happened in Bucha “does not seem genocide to me.”

People stand in line to withdraw money from an ATM at the Sberbank in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 25, 2022 (AP Photo / Dmitri Lovetsky)

I’m “indecisive”

The EU is also ready to impose a fifth round of sanctions that reduce Russian coal imports – and European Council President Charles Michel said that “sooner or later” it should also impose sanctions on oil and gas.

Condemning “war crimes” in Russia, he said: “for all the perpetrators should be and will be severe consequences.”

But speaking in the Irish parliament on Wednesday, Zelensky condemned “indecision” on the part of European countries that depend on Russian energy.

He called for the complete exclusion of Russian banks from Western finance.

As part of other steps to isolate Moscow, EU countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, expelled more than 200 Russian diplomats and staff this week.

The Kremlin called the mass deportations a “short-sighted step” that would complicate efforts to end hostilities.

Peace talks between the parties have not led to anything yet, although Moscow says it is “ready” to continue.

Putin also warned of “reprisals” for recent European measures against Russian gas giant Gazprom, and said Moscow would “control” its food exports to “enemy” countries, creating the specter of shortages and price spikes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends Kremlin meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 6, 2022 (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Photo by Kremlin Pool via AP)

Cluster bombs are flying

Satellite images taken while Bucha was still under Moscow’s control show corpses lying in the streets, where the Ukrainian military later found the dead and saw them as journalists.

Several Bucha residents told AFP that they had seen Russian soldiers kill civilians.

“A man who was going to eat in a supermarket was shot right in front of my eyes,” said 43-year-old Alena, who declined to give her last name.

During the grim cleaning, the remains of partially burned bodies in black bags were taken to a van, and officials told reporters that “dozens of bodies” remain in apartments and nearby forests.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who will visit Kyiv this week, offered the bloc assistance in documenting evidence of war crimes.

Scenes of devastation greeted those who ventured to other areas from where Russian troops had emerged.

Ukrainian military finds the remains of four killed civilians from a charred car in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. (AP Photo / Felipe Dana)

In the northern city of Chernihiv, which had been under siege since the first days of the invasion, the shelter was a burnt-out children’s hospital full of bullets and shrapnel.

“Cluster bombs were flying, we have traces of these bombs,” said 51-year-old Elena Makova. “The victims were taken to a children’s hospital, both adults and children.”

According to city officials, about 350 civilians were killed in Chernihiv, and compatriots dug mass graves to bury them.

“It was very scary here from the first days of the war,” Makoviy said. “They brought guys, beautiful, young, but no longer alive.”

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