UK announces new sanctions against the step-daughter of Russia's foreign minister

You’ve no doubt seen this guy before. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He’s usually busy lying through his teeth about something on behalf of his pal Vladimir Putin.

What I didn’t know until today is that Lavrov has a step-daughter named Polina Kovaleva who lives in a fabulous house in London. But as of today, the UK has put Polina on the sanctions list along with 64 other new additions.

Vladimir Putin’s private army, the Russian Foreign Minister’s stepdaughter and a billionaire friend of Roman Abramovich are among 65 new individuals and organisations being sanctioned, the Government announced on Thursday.

Polina Kovaleva, the defacto stepdaughter of the Russian minister Sergei Lavrov was among those who will have their assets frozen, the Foreign Office said.

The 26-year-old owns a £4.4million flat in Kensington and is the daughter of Mr Lavrov’s alleged mistress Svetlana Polyakova.

The official announcement of the sanctions states that the sanctioning of Polina, “sends a strong signal that those benefiting from association of those responsible for Russian aggression are in scope of our sanctions.”

Earlier this month I wrote about the Russian oligarchs who have spent as much as a billion dollars buying up property in London in the last few years. Lavrov’s stepdaughter was apparently one of those individuals. But there’s a bit more backstory to all of this. In fact, Lavrov isn’t exactly Polina’s step-father. As this Russian investigative reporter who works for Alexei Navalny pointed out two weeks ago, Lavrov and a lot of other wealthy Russians have two families, one official and one unofficial.

And that’s how 21-year-old Polina was able to buy her $5 million apartment in London, paying for the whole thing in cash.

I think I mentioned that Lavrov’s job is to lie through his teeth.

So this thread from two weeks ago called for the apartment to be seized and now it seems on the verge of happening.

Many of the photos of Polina come from her personal Instagram account. Like a lot of other young girls she spends a lot of time there documenting her lavish lifestyle. Unfortunately, some of those photos provided a roadmap for investigators in Lavrov’s own connections. Last September, Maria Pevchikh released this video investigation into Lavrov, his family and his close connections to a particular Russian oligarch. As you’ll see, Polina’s Instagram photos played a role in identifying several significant locations. Maybe that’s why her account is now private.