Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced expanded sanctions on Russians who help “justify terror” against Ukrainians in his Sunday address, which came hours after one of Moscow’s deadliest attacks on civilians since the start of the war.
“I think it is right that today there is a decision to expand our sanctions against Russian citizens and other persons who help terror,” he said in his nightly address Sunday.
A Russian missile struck an apartment building in Dnipro, a city in east-central Ukraine, on Saturday, which Zelensky said killed 30 people, including a 15-year old girl. The head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, Mykola Lukashuk, said earlier Sunday that another 73 people were injured, including 14 children.
Zelensky said the debris from the attack is still being cleared, and that dozens of people had already been rescued from the site. He said there are still 30 people who may have been in the building at the time who have yet to be found.
Zelensky said those who help perpetuate violence against Ukraine will be held accountable with the help of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. He said more decisions about the new sanctions will be released “soon.”
“This list is carefully prepared, and behind each name there is a responsible motivation,” Zelensky said. “Those who justify terror. Those who grease the Russian propaganda machine. Those who tried to sell Ukraine somewhere in Moscow.”
“This public will face a full list of personal restrictions,” Zelensky added. “We will do everything to make the sanctions work on the largest possible scale – in Europe, in the world. Everyone will be held to account for terror: both those who kill and those who help to kill.”
Ukraine has already sanctioned thousands of Russian oligarchs, companies and enterprises since the war began in February.
Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, met earlier this week with Ambassador James O’Brien, head of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Sanctions Coordination, and other U.S. officials, according to Zelensky’s office.
Yermak told the U.S. officials that Ukraine was set to strengthen sanctions, particularly against Russian propagandists who were involved in the illegal annexations of Ukrainians regions late last year.
“Today it is propaganda from public people that has the greatest impact on Russian society,” Yermak said. “. “And if these people travel freely around the world and are fine with supporting the war and killing of Ukrainians, it is a signal to all Russians that everything is fine. It should not be so.”