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UK freezes assets of Belarusian defence chiefs for supporting Russia invading Ukraine

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The UK on Tuesday announced sanctions against four senior defence figures in the Belarus regime of Alexander Lukashenko for supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

An assets freeze and travel ban was imposed on Victor Gulevich, Belarus' chief of the general staff and first deputy minister of defence.

He was “responsible for directing the actions of the Belarusian armed forces, which have supported and enabled the Russian invasion of Ukraine”, the foreign ministry said.

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“He has directed joint military exercises with Russia, and consented to the deployment of Russian troops along the border of Belarus with Ukraine, which has directly contributed to Russia's ability to attack Ukraine, including from positions in Belarus,” it added.

Also sanctioned are Major General Andrei Burdyko, deputy minister of defence for logistics and chief of logistics of the Belarusian armed forces; deputy minister of defence and chief of armament, Major General Sergei Simonenko; and deputy minister of defence, Major General Andrey Zhuk.

London also slapped a ban on state companies JSC 558 Aircraft Repair Plant and JSC Integral, a military semi-conductor manufacturer, which also services and maintains military aircraft from an airbase used by Russian planes.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Lukashenko's regime in Minsk “actively aids and abets Russia's illegal invasion and will be made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin”.

She added: “There will be nowhere to hide. Nothing -- and no one -- is off the table.

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