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EU blacklists 26 Russians, including Kremlin spokesman Peskov, and one company

Apart from that, sanctions have been imposed on Gas Industry Insurance Company SOGAZ

BRUSSELS, February 28. /TASS/. The European Union has blacklisted 26 more Russian nationals, including presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, and one legal entity, according to the corresponding normative acts published in the EU Official Journal on Monday.

"In view of the gravity of the situation, the Council considers that 26 persons and one entity should be added to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures set out in the Annex to Decision 2014/145/CFSP," it reads.

Along with Peskov, the blacklist includes Igor Sechin, executive director of Rosneft; Nikolay Tokarev, Transneft CEO; Alisher Usmanov, founder and major shareholder of USM holding co; Pyotr Aven, chairman, board of directors, Afta Bank; Mikhail Fridman, co-owner, Alfa Group; Sergey Roldugin, cellist and businessman; Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister; Irek Faizullin, Minister of Construction and Housing; Vitaly Savelyev, Minister of Transport; Andrey Turchak, first deputy speaker of the Federation Council (upper parliament house); Tigran Keosayan, film director; Olga Skabeyev, journalist; Alexander Ponomarenko, chairms, board of directors, Sheremetyevo airport; Modest Kolerov, editor-in-chief, Regnum news agency; Roman Babayan, editor-in-chief, Govorit Moskva radio station; Zakhar Prilepin, writer and co-leader of the Just Russia - For Truth party; Anton Krasovsky, journalists and RT host; Arkady Mamontov, journalist and host on Rossiya-1 television channel; Sergey Punchuk, first deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet; Alexey Avdeyev, deputy commander, Southern Military District; Rustam Muradov, deputy commander, Southern Military District; Andrey Sychevoy, commander, 8th army of the Southern Military District; Gennady Timchenko, majority shareholder, Volga Group investment company and holder of share in Rossiya bank; Alexey Mordashev, chairman, board of directors, Severstal; and Pyotr Fradkov, Promsvyazbank chairman.

They are banned from entering the European Union and their assets in the EU countries, if any, will be frozen.

Apart from that, sanctions have been imposed on Gas Industry Insurance Company SOGAZ.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.