Russian disinformation and propaganda target of latest round of Australian sanctions

By Melissa Coade

March 28, 2022

Marise Payne
Foreign minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/James Ross)

On Friday, Australia’s foreign minister announced sanctions on another 22 Russian supporters, including major state media organisations and powerbrokers from Belarus.

Among the 22 people named were senior editors from organisations including Russia Today, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos, and NewsFront. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family will also be sanctioned. 

Marise Payne said the latest announcement, one month into Russia’s illegal invasion and brutal military attack on Ukraine, intended to make those involved in the atrocities or support Russian president Vladimir Putin ‘pay a high cost’.

“The Belarusian government allowed Russian military forces to train in their country for weeks ahead of the invasion,” Payne said. 

“Since then, it has allowed Russia to fire ballistic missiles from Belarus into Ukraine, enabled the transport of Russian military personnel, heavy weapons and tanks into Ukraine, provided refuelling points in Belarus for Russian military aircraft and stored Russian weapons and military equipment.”

The foreign minister reiterated Australia’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for the people of Ukraine. She added that Australia would continue to closely collaborate with international allies to impose more sanctions on those in Russia and Belarus in power.

“Australia has now sanctioned a total of 32 pro-Kremlin propagandists, reflecting the strategic importance of disinformation in Russia’s attempts to legitimise Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“We again call upon Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces from Ukraine,” Payne said.


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