Australia has earmarked Russian media personalities, a current and former member of the Ukrainian parliament and an army chief in the latest round of targeted sanctions.
More than two dozen individuals and entities have been sanctioned in the latest round, as the strategic city of Mariupol appears to be on the verge of falling into Russian hands as Ukraine moves to abandon a sprawling steel plant in the port.
The sanctions target the first deputy chief of general staff of Russia's armed forces, the first deputy director of Russia's federal security service the FSB, Russian journalists and news anchors, acting Russian ministers and a museum director as well as pro-Russian research and cultural institutions.
Private military company Wagner has also been sanctioned. Wagner is described as a de facto private army of Russian President Vladimir Putin with its mercenaries supporting Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.
Ultra-nationalist group the Russian Imperial Movement, which conducts paramilitary-style training, has also been sanctioned.
The group is known for anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQI, and anti-Ukrainian views as well as sending foreign fighters to join Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne says purveyors of disinformation and propaganda have been targeted as they continue to suppress dissent and factual reporting of war crimes committed by Russia.
The sanctions include Russian intelligence service-linked "troll farms" which generate and spread disinformation online.
"The Australian government continues to inflict costs on Russia, in co-ordination with our partners, by targeting those who share responsibility for Russia's invasion of Ukraine or hold levers of influence," she said.
Australia has now sanctioned 827 individuals and 62 entities since Russia's invasion of its neighbour in late February.
The government has also contributed more than $225 million in military assistance, including 20 Bushmaster vehicles, and six M777 howitzers with ammunition.
Australian Associated Press
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