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Media: Former Russian-appointed head of occupied Sevastopol detained in London

by Rachel Amran February 1, 2024 8:02 PM 2 min read
Dmitry Ovsyannikov in January 2019. (Sergey Malgavko / TASS)
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British authorities arrested former Russian-appointed head of occupied Sevastopol, Dmitry Ovsyannikov, in London on Jan. 22, the Times reported. He is suspected of violating sanctions laws.

Long-time Russian official, Ovsyannikov was appointed so-called governor of occupied Sevastopol in 2017 following Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.

He held the post until July 2019, before becoming the deputy minister of industry and trade.

Ovsyannikov was later dismissed from this position by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in April 2020, allegedly due to a scandal involving indecent behavior at the Izhevsk airport.

Now, the former Russian official is accused of deliberately violating sanctions by opening a Halifax Bank of Scotland account in London. According to the Times, he is also accused of allowing four payments totaling over $82,621 to be deposited in the account and of possessing $98,531 of "criminal cash."

The U.K. placed Ovsyannikov on the sanctions list, where he is still listed, at the end of 2020.

Ovsyannikov's U.K. assets were frozen and in March 2022, a ban on trust services was added.

Ovsyannikov was excluded from the EU sanctions list in 2023 after the court decided he could not be penalized since he no longer held the positions for which he was sanctioned.

According to BBC Russia, the circumstances of Ovsyannikov's detainment are unusual. He is being held in a London prison, which is abnormal given that those arrested for non-violent offenses are typically released on bail.

He is scheduled to appear in a London court on Feb. 20.

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