Russia: Hillary Clinton warns Putin repeating mistakes of past
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Putin invaded Ukraine last month in an unprovoked act of military aggression that has been condemned around the world. Since then, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in the country, according to officials there. In response to the Russian leader’s bloody conflict, countries across the globe have slapped financial sanctions on his regime. Those targeted include Russian politicians and oligarchs, as well as major companies and financial institutions with links to the Kremlin.
The UK has hit Russia with more than 300 sanctions and the Government is now fast-tracking the Economic Crime Bill in a bid to step up its actions even further.
Calls have grown for sanctions to be used against powerful Russian figures in the UK, such as the oligarch Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea FC and has recently confirmed he will sell the club.
The Government has been urged to do more to tackle the flow of Russian money invested in the UK, some of which is linked to financial crime and the Kremlin.
Attention has also turned to the rich Russians who live in the UK, with newspapers reporting this month that even Putin’s daughter owns a property here.
The Russian leader’s child is said to have a home on the exclusive private estate of St George’s Hill in the Surrey town of Weybridge on the outskirts of London.
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The leafy neighbourhood has long been known as an enclave for wealthy Russian expats, including Putin’s daughter, according to Surrey Live.
However, this has not been confirmed and it is unclear which of Putin’s daughters is thought to own a house there.
According to a report by The Guardian last month, security was stepped up at the entrance to the estate after tensions grew over Ukraine and there has even been a call for the Government to “seize” the homes of wealthy Russians in the area.
The newspaper spoke to Joy, a resident who lives on an estate next to St George’s Hill.
She raised concerns about what she called the group of “dodgy Russians next door”.
She said: “I think they should all be turfed out of the country.
“Why should they be allowed to live here when there is a war going on over there?
“The only way to stop Putin is to put pressure on Russians.
“The rich Russians who live in the huge houses over there, the Government should seize their houses.”
Built 100 years ago, St George’s Hill was popular with celebrities and figures in British business.
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But from around 2000, the area grew in popularity with wealthy Russians, who benefitted from the former so-called “golden visa” scheme that allowed rich foreigners to live in the UK if they invested at least £2million.
Reports have claimed that over a quarter of the 430 homes on the estate are Russian-owned.
It has not been confirmed if Putin’s daughter, whose father is notoriously secretive about his family, is one of the homeowners.
Lesia Scholey, an activist with Ukrainian heritage, who organised a rally in Weybridge at the weekend, was quoted by Surrey Live about reports that Putin’s daughter lives in the area.
She said: “There are very many wealthy Russians [with homes there], and long-standing rumours that Putin’s daughter has a house there.”
Local councillor for Weybridge and St George’s Hill, Tom Catton was also asked about reports of rising tension in the area.
He said: “Not at all. I haven’t heard anything and none of the residents have spoken to me about it.
“If you are an oligarch and you are connected to Putin, that is for the Government and their people to investigate, and if any of them are in the [Surrey] Hills.”
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