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Live updates from Ukraine: Russia casts doubt on the future of the International Space Station

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Britain’s Foreign Office froze the assets of a British citizen on Tuesday as the government announced a series of new sanctions against people, businesses and others who support the government of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Graham Phillips, 43, a pro-Kremlin blogger who was born in Nottingham, England, moved to Ukraine more than a decade ago and has spent the last few years shooting and promoting videos from the country, amassing hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube. he says that he has praised the Russian invasion. He briefly freelanced for the Russian state television network RT, which many Western governments have accused of being a tool of the Kremlin and spreading disinformation.

The Foreign Office, announcing the freezing of Mr. Philip’s assets, characterized him as “a video blogger who has produced and published media content that supports and promotes actions and policies that destabilize Ukraine and undermine or threaten the integrity territorial, sovereignty or independence. from Ukraine.”

Phillips said in an email that he had not received any prior warning about the decision and questioned the legality of the measures.

“Can someone explain to me how a British person can be put on a British sanctions list without any opportunity to defend himself, or actual charges against him, just because the UK government doesn’t like his job?” Mr. Phillips wrote.

The move to punish Phillips came as Britain’s Foreign Office announced a series of new sanctions on Tuesday targeting a number of people for supporting the Putin regime, including Russian-installed officials in the eastern Lugansk and Donetsk regions.

Others on the expanded list included Russia’s justice minister and deputy justice minister, two nephews of oligarchs, and some Syrian citizens who the Foreign Ministry claimed were “undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity” by recruiting mercenaries in Syria. .

Britain has sanctioned more than 1,000 people and 100 companies since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

Mr. Phillips, who moved to Ukraine in 2010, was an English teacher for a time and wrote extensively about his experience in the country, including detailing his own exploits in brothels and writing about sex tourism in Posts that have already been deleted.

When the Maidan protest movement about the future direction of Ukraine began in 2013, he began documenting the scenes and, despite his inexperience, took to making videos and posting reports about the conflict on social media, amassing a large number. of followers.

In 2014, he became a freelancer for RT. He has praised Russia’s annexation of Crimea and has regularly expressed his support for pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east, framing videos of him as counterpoints to the Western narrative.

Since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, Mr. Phillips has been documenting the war from the Russian side. This spring, Phillips interviewed and posted a video of Aiden Aslin, a British man who joined the Ukrainian army in Mariupol and was later captured by Russian forces.

Speaking in Parliament after the video was released, Robert Jenrick, the lawmaker representing the Aslin constituency, said the interview was a “flagrant breach” of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit broadcasting the interrogation of prisoners from war.

Jenrick also said Phillips was “in danger of being prosecuted for war crimes.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson later said that he “echoed the sentiments of those who broadcast propaganda messages.” The clip was later removed.

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