Related video: Vladimir Putin appears to have lost the use of his right arm


The government of Russia - a country alleged to have committed countless war crimes as it continues its invasion of Ukraine – has announced it has banned 39 British citizens, but many of those on the list aren’t that bothered.

The individuals, sanctioned by the Russian foreign ministry on Monday, can no longer enter the Russian Federation because they have contributed to “London’s hostile course aimed at the demonisation of our country and its international isolation”.

The UK has already issued punitive measures against Mr Putin and the Kremlin, including placing sanctions on Russian oligarchs such as former Chelsea owner Roman Abromovich and the chief executive of energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller.

However, some of those who have made the Russian foreign ministry’s block list have in fact relished the news that they’ve upset the country’s government, and have instead reaffirmed their commitment to expressing solidarity with Ukraine.

Here’s some of the best reactions:

Angus Robertson: “I will continue to strongly support Ukraine, condemn Moscow’s aggression and its war crimes”

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The former Westminster leader for the Scottish National Party, who is now the MSP for Edinburgh Central and cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture, took to Twitter on Monday evening to respond to his ban.

He wrote: “Russia doesn’t like criticism of its invasion of Ukraine and it doesn’t like freedom of speech either. I will continue to strongly support Ukraine, condemn Moscow’s aggression and its war crimes.”

David Lammy: “Where can I make my acceptance speech?”

Taking a slightly more comical approach, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy almost saw it as an award, asking where he could make his “acceptance speech”.

He added: “Putin can’t banish the freedom of politicians or journalists to speak out in our democracy. We will continue to stand with Ukraine and the many people in and outside Russia opposed to Putin’s barbarism.”

Lorna Slater: “I will not stop supporting Ukraine”

The co-leader of the Scottish Greens, Lorna Slater, gave a statement to STV News journalist Lewis McKenzie and said: “If the cost of speaking out against Putin’s war crimes is a ban on visiting Russia then I will live with these consequences but I will not stop supporting Ukraine.”

Ross Greer: “Please send thoughts and prayers at this difficult time”

Green MSP Ross Greer was devastated (not really), asking people to “send thoughts and prayers at this difficult time”.

Further mocking the bizarre decision, he added: “I’ve always said that if I was going to be sanctioned by the Russians I’d want it to be alongside my close friend and political confidante Piers Morgan.”

He also confirmed “Go West” by the Pet Shop Boys would be “top of tonight’s playlist” for “no particular reason”.

Sensational stuff.

Alex Cole-Hamilton: “I’ll treat that sanction as a badge of honour”

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats confirmed he had been sanctioned on social media on Monday and said: “For as long as Putin and his gangsters rule Russia and wage war in Ukraine, I’ll treat that sanction as a badge of honour.”

He concluded his message with “Slava Ukraini”, which means “Glory to Ukraine”.

Peter Ricketts: “Badge of honour!”

Short and sweet from the crossbench peer.

David Aaronovitch: “Bang goes my family visit to the Hermitage and the Tretyakov”

The Times columnist is referring to the State Heritage Museum, which is an art and culture museum in St Petersburg, and the Tretyakov art gallery.

James Crisp: “It’s always nice to have been read”

The Telegraph’s Europe editor shared an anecdote in a tweet which saw him say he was “surprised” to have made the list.

“I taught English in Moscow for six months when I was 18. Loved it. Arrived just as Putin took over from Yeltsin.

“22 years later and he is still in office!

“To misquote Wilde: the only thing worse than being sanctioned is not being sanctioned,” he said.

David Rose: “A badge of honour”

The freelance journalist currently working on The Times’ foreign desk was incredulous, writing “I honestly don’t know” as he asked himself whether he had been banned for reporting on the Ukraine crisis.

“My name does appear on the list of politicians and journalists banned from entering Russia, and I would say it’s a badge of honour, if true,” he said.

Jerome Starkey: “Good company”

Alongside commenting on the names of those who joined him on the list, The Sun’s defence editor Jerome Starkey took the opportunity to reshare footage he had captured of Ukrainians under attack in Kharkiv.

“Q: Why did you get sanctioned? Me: You know, the usual: demonising, planting Russophobia, spreading false information and supporting the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime.

“Oh, and reporting stuff like this," he wrote.

Robert Peston: “Thank you Mr Putin for using my full name”

Ever polite and quirky, ITV’s political editor and host of Peston chose to thank the Russian president – for using his full name as “so few people do these days”.

If you were wondering, it’s Robert James Kenneth Peston.

“Somehow makes the sanction less aggressive,” he noted.

Piers Morgan: “It wasn’t on my immediate vacation to-do list”

We honestly thought the former Good Morning Britain host would be outraged at his ban from Russia, considering he’s against cancel culture and legitimately has a TalkTV show titled Piers Morgan: Uncensored…

Instead, the broadcaster commented: “It wasn’t on my immediate vacation to-do list.”

Huw Edwards: “Huw’ve been banned!”

Beloved BBC News presenter Huw Edwards, known for helming the News at Ten on a regular basis, wrote: “Huw’ve been banned! I made the Kremlin cut.”

He also attached a screenshot of the list of banned individuals, adding the Welsh and Ukrainian flags next to his name.


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