Because they are said to be close to the Kremlin, Ukraine has sanctioned around 120 Russian celebrities. Among them is the Vienna-based opera singer Anna Netrebko. Kyiv is also reportedly revoking the citizenship of some clerics.
Ukraine has put dozens of Russian artists and other public figures on a sanctions list. One of the internationally best-known names in the decree published by the Ukrainian Presidential Office is the Vienna-based opera singer Anna Netrebko, who has come under criticism for being close to the Kremlin. Her and 118 other people - including three Ukrainian nationals - will have their assets in Ukraine blocked, if they exist.
The sanctions list also includes the well-known Russian musician Filip Kirkorov and actor and director Nikita Mikhalkov. Ukrainian media also reported that President Volodymyr Zelenskyi had 13 clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church revoked their citizenship at the end of December. It was initially not known who it was supposed to be about. Since the corresponding decree contains personal data, it was not published, it said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has traditionally been closely linked to Russia and only completely broke away from Moscow after the Russian invasion last February. In view of the Russian war of aggression that has been going on for more than ten months, the leadership in Kyiv sees the church's ties to Russia as a threat to the country's security.
Recently, for example, the usage contracts for two main churches of the Kiev Cave Monastery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were not extended. For the first time, the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrated a Christmas service there over the weekend.