Who are the three men and five banks the UK has sanctioned over Russia's Ukraine incursion?

220222 Gennady Timchenko and Vladimir Putin, AP
Gennady Timchenko is reportedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: AP

Three "very high net worth" individuals and five Russian banks have bit hit with sanctions by the UK government in a bid to dissuade President Vladimir Putin from launching a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine after he moved to recognise two separatist regions as independent.

Also on Tuesday, the US and EU announced a tranche of sanctions, while Germany halted approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia - an action which is hoped to be the most effective of the actions announced.

Critics branded the UK's sanctions "tepid" and said they did not go far enough, while Boris Johnson said it was "the first barrage" of measures and that more would follow if Mr Putin carried on.

So, just who are the three men and five banks who have been targeted with the sanctions, and why?

Gennady Timchenko

Gennady Timchenko is worth £17.6 billion. Credit: AP

Russia’s sixth richest man according to government sources, Forbes lists Mr Timchenko’s net worth as £17.6 billion.

He is a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya which “is a key stakeholder in the National Media Group which supports Russian policy which is destabilising Ukraine”, the government said.

He was sanctioned by the US in 2014 and is reportedly close to Mr Putin.

Boris Rotenberg

Another wealthy Russian who has been under US sanctions since 2014, Mr Rotenberg co-owns SMP Bank with his brother Arkady, who is already sanctioned by the UK.

The UK government said that SMP is a “Russian Government affiliated entity” and that Mr Rotenberg has “close personal ties” to Vladimir Putin.

Forbes reported that his personal fortune is £890 million and that he has so far evaded US sanctions because he has Finnish citizenship.

Igor Rotenberg

The son of Arkady, Igor has “close familial ties” to the Russian president, according to the UK Government.

He has been on the US sanctions list since 2018, and has a net worth of £810 million, according to Forbes.


The bank was founded by brothers Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev but was seized by Russian authorities in 2017 and the brothers were accused of fraud.

Interpol later found that the prosecution of the brothers was politically motivated.

According to UK government sources, Promsvyazbank now services 70% of state contracts signed by Russia’s defence ministry and is a “pivotal bank” for the country’s military-industrial complex.

In the early 2010s the bank briefly flirted with listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Bank Rossiya

Tracing its roots back to the early 1990s before the USSR fell, Rossiya Bank is favoured by the wealthy and powerful, according to government sources.

One of the top 20 banks in the country, it has been blacklisted for years, and was put on US sanctions lists after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The move forced the bank to draw back into Russia and according to the Moscow Times it became the first big bank to start opening branches in Crimea.

According to the US Treasury, which sanctioned the bank in 2014, it is “the personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation” including Mr Putin’s inner circle.

It has supported the integration of Crimea into Russia, the UK government said and “offers support to military activities and the formation of major transport links and cards that allow the public to travel easily around the peninsula”.

IS Bank

The bank has nine branches in Russia according to its website, but its “business development is directly tied to the annexation of Crimea”, according to the UK government.

It was designated by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, which runs the country’s sanctions, in 2017 for “operating in Crimea”.

Black Sea Bank for Development and Reconstruction

Added to the same US sanctions list in 2017 that IS Bank was on, the Black Sea Bank also operates in Crimea.

It was “created immediately after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014” and has “consolidated Crimea into the Russian Federation through the financial system”, according to the UK government

According to its website, its biggest markets are Russia and Turkey and it also does a lot of business in Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.

General Bank

Like IS Bank and Black Sea Bank, General Bank, or Genbank, was sanctioned by the US years ago for its involvement in Crimea.

“Targeting these entities for operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine underscores the United States’ commitment to opposing Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea,” the US said at the time.

It is the biggest of the three small banks sanctioned by the UK on Tuesday, the 92nd largest in Russia, Reuters reported, citing data from financial marketplace Banki.ru.