Evening Standard owner who hosted Boris Johnson at lavish parties sanctioned by Ukraine over Putin’s war

The Russian oligarch bought the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers more than a decade ago.

Alexander Lebedev

Ukraine has sanctioned Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, as part of a wave of sanctions aimed at individuals alleged to be supportive of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Lebedev, who has not been sanctioned by the UK, has also been sanctioned by Canada. He has previously thrown lavish parties for Boris Johnson in London and at a villa in Umbria. It was reported by the Guardian that a day after his election win in 2019, Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds dropped into a caviar-fuelled Christmas party in London hosted by former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny.

The Russian oligarch bought the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers more than a decade ago.

The decision by Ukraine to formally confirm that Lebedev has been put on its sanctions list will lead to further scrutiny of the UK government’s relationship with the media tycoon.

Despite the Canadian government identifying Lebedev as a key member of ‘President Putin’s inner circle’, Johnson last year refused to put him on the UK’s sanctions list.

Johnson also ennobled Alexander’s son Evgeny in 2020, despite warnings by the UK’s security services.

It was reported that MI6 initially advised against Lebedev’s appointment due to concerns about Alexander Lebedev’s suspected links to Putin.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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