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Russia bans more than 100 Australians over Ukraine invasion sanctions

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Russia has banned more than 100 Australians, including mining magnates, business leaders and dozens of journalists, from travelling to the country, in retaliation for sanctions imposed following the Kremlin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The list of 121 names, which includes billionaires, newspaper bosses, chief executives, professors and military officers, builds on the 228 Australians including then leader Scott Morrison and current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese banned from Russia in April.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed the banned people formed part of Australia's "Russophobic" agenda and warned more would be added to the country's "stop list".

READ MORE: French, German, Italian leaders pledge arms and EU path for Ukraine in Kyiv visit

"Taking into account the fact that the official Canberra does not intend to abandon the anti-Russian course and continues to produce new sanctions, work on updating the Russian "stop list" will continue," it said, in a statement published on Tuesday.

La Trobe University Russian politics expert Dr Robert Horvath said the "Russophobic" classification was a "lie".

"I have repeatedly and insistently defended Russian culture against its detractors," he said, on Twitter.

READ MORE: Health and energy to dominate Albanese's first national cabinet 

https://twitter.com/RG_Horvath/status/1537413775371800576

"I have highlighted its most humane voices and the lessons about human rights and freedom that Russian dissidents have taught the West.

"But in Putin's twisted, Orwellian world, 'Russophobia' means criticising his kleptocracy, repression, and genocidal war.

"It means drawing attention to brave Russians who oppose him. It means pointing out that there is more to Russian culture than his totalitarian despotism."

Fellow academic Matthew Sussex, from the Australian National University's strategic and defence studies centre, joked that he was "humbled" to be included on the list among other such "worthy recipients".

READ MORE: Grandmother deported to UK for helping son cover up the murder of his fiancée 

https://twitter.com/matthew_sussex/status/1537422317646598145

Other prominent names include the editors-in-chief of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, the West Australian and the Australian Financial Review; mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest; and the board of directors chairs at Nine, Seven West Media, SBS, the ABC and News Corp Australia.

The list also includes more than a dozen senior officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force, Atlassian founder and prominent billionaire Mike Cannon-Brooks, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and a handful of new federal Labor ministers and deputy ministers who weren't already sanctioned.

9News.com.au journalist Richard Wood has also been added to the "stop list".

Australia has sanctioned hundreds of Russians including oligarchs, business leaders and their family members, along with propagandists and "troll farms", as well as dozens of businesses.

READ MORE: Gold Coast dad given community service after smashing woman's car

It's part of an international effort from the West to combat Russia's months-long war against Ukraine.

The new government is yet to announce any further sanctions but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has consistently condemned the Kremlin's "unilateral, illegal, immoral" attack on Ukraine as an outrage.

"This is something that Russia must pay a price for its actions. It's as simple as that," he said last month, the day after he was sworn in.

"These actions are against democratic values, against national sovereignty, against the rule of law, against the very Charter of the United Nations, and they should be condemned unequivocally. And I do so again now."

The sanctions are paired with vast weapons-supply campaigns, including Australia's delivery of Bushmaster armoured vehicles after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a public plea in his address to the Australian Parliament.

The United States announced another US$1 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday, including 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of howitzer ammunition and two harpoon coastal defence systems.





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