Canada sanctions Russian regime collaborators complicit in sham referendums in Ukraine

News release

September 30, 2022 – Washington, D.C. - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing further sanctions in relation to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, including the sham referendums in and the attempted annexation of the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. 

President Putin’s plans to annex Ukrainian territory have no legitimacy. His egregious violations of international law are based on the imperial notion that his regime can redraw the map as it pleases. The vote in Russia’s Federal Assembly to integrate Ukraine’s territories is an attempt to formalize President Putin’s conquest through political theatre. This sham process will not alter Canada’s position. Borders will not change. Ukraine’s territory will remain Ukraine’s. 

Canada and its international partners will not stand idly by as President Putin attacks Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the rules-based international order. As announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, to increase pressure on the Russian regime, Canada is imposing measures on 43 Russian oligarchs, financial elites and their family members; the so-called governing body in Kherson; and 35 Russia-backed senior officials in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. These individuals and entity are complicit in President Putin’s desperate attempt to undermine the principles of state sovereignty, and share responsibility for the ongoing senseless bloodshed throughout Ukraine.

Building on similar measures Canada has already imposed on the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, certain business dealings in or with the Russian occupied areas of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, including investing and exporting, are henceforth prohibited.

Canada reiterates its strong condemnation of the Russian Federation’s war crimes in Ukraine, which include rape, torture and the indiscriminate murder of civilians. Canada will use every tool at its disposal to ensure that those responsible for violations of international law will be held accountable.

These new sanctions are the latest example of Canada’s efforts to stand with Ukraine as its counteroffensive surges to reclaim its occupied land. Canada continues to coordinate with like-minded partners to explore options for new measures in response to the ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.


"As brave Ukrainians push forward in a valiant counteroffensive, President Putin is attempting to annex Ukrainian territory in a cynical, desperate attempt to validate his senseless war of choice. Canada and its international partners see these acts for what they really are: an attack on the rules-based international order and the principles of democracy. As such, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its people. Canada has always stood with Ukraine, and we will continue to do so for as long as it takes.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On September 28, 2022, the Prime Minister announced that Canada intended to impose new sanctions against persons and entities that are complicit and share responsibility for the ongoing senseless bloodshed across Ukraine.

  • Since Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,800 individuals and entities. Many of these sanctions have been undertaken in coordination with Canada’s allies and partners.

  • Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,400 additional individuals and entities from and in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

  • In September 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry confirmed that the Russian Federation has committed war crimes in Ukraine. Canada continues to support a full investigation into Russian war crimes.

Associated links


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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