In addition to the extensive damage and complete destruction of a number of Ukraine’s cultural sites, thousands of Ukrainian cultural artifacts have been found missing or reportedly stolen by Russian forces in the temporarily occupied territories since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and prior to that during the attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014. In its effort to erase Ukraine’s identity, Russia reportedly illegally exported artifacts from Ukraine, and damaged cultural heritage sites. June 10, 2023 – Ottawa, Canada – Global Affairs Canada The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions against 24 individuals and 17 entities in Ukraine as part of the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations. These new measures are in direct response to Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s cultural sites, institutions and identity. As Russia tries to forcefully impose its culture and education on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, these sanctions will impose further costs on so-called authorities in areas of Ukraine illegally occupied by Russian forces in order to protect Ukrainian culture and identity. With today’s announcement, Canada is sanctioning persons connected to Russia’s theft of Ukrainian cultural objects to counter the Kremlin’s efforts to “Russify” Ukraine’s culture. The list of individuals being sanctioned includes Ukrainians who work at museums and other cultural centres who collaborate with Russia. It also includes newly created entities in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, such as the so-called ministries of education and culture, as well as individuals and entities related to private military companies that originated in Ukraine and are fighting for Russia. With these sanctions, Canada reaffirms its unwavering commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine against Russia’s war of aggression while continuing to increase pressure on Russia and Ukrainians who collaborate with Russian administrations in Ukraine until they put an end to these unjustifiable attacks.