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EU Sanctions Russian Pro-War Pop Star Shaman

Singer Shaman (Yaroslav Dronov). Pelagia Tikhonova / Moskva News Agency

Brussels on Monday sanctioned Russian pop singer Shaman over his role in promoting Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, applying restrictive measures against the performer that include an asset freeze and travel ban.

“Since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, [Shaman] has repeatedly participated in Kremlin-organized concerts, including the Kremlin’s anniversary event for that war, and given concerts in the illegally occupied regions of Ukraine,” the EU said in its sanctions listing.

Shaman, whose real name is Yaroslav Dronov, also performed “as part of troop entertainment events for the Russian Armed Forces,” the listing added.

The pro-war star was among 69 people and 47 legal entities added to the EU’s list of sanctions targeting violators of Ukrainian territorial integrity and independence. Overall, the bloc has applied restrictive measures against more than 2,200 individuals and entities as part of sanctions against Russia.

Russian pop singer Polina Gagarina was also sanctioned on Monday for “generating significant revenue” from state-sponsored events celebrating the annexation of Crimea and four other Ukrainian regions under Moscow’s partial control.

Similarly, actor Ivan Okhlobystin was sanctioned for participating in “state-sponsored propaganda events and by visiting and supplying goods to Russian troops and separatist forces deployed in Ukraine.”

Besides cultural figures, the EU sanctions targeted officials and organizations — including the Artek youth camp and the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation — said to be linked to the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. 

The EU restrictions also include members of the army and the judiciary, as well as Federal Security Service (FSB) employees said to be involved in the persecution of the Crimean Tatar minority.

EU member states last week signed off on their 14th sanctions package banning Russia’s lucrative transshipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via Europe and making it more difficult for Russia to use a “shadow fleet” of vessels to circumvent EU sanctions on its crude oil.

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