BRUSSELS — Prominent Russian officials from President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, as well as high-profile Russians from the media world, are the targets of European Union sanctions made public Wednesday.
The list includes Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, and Anton Vaino, Mr. Putin’s chief of staff.
E.U. officials said the sanctions were a first step toward punishing those involved in the recognition of the so-called republics of Donetsk and Luhansk on Monday, which the bloc regards as a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. They promised heavier penalties if Russia escalates its hostilities in Ukraine into a full-blown invasion.
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, wrote a caustic tweet on Tuesday about how the sanctions would affect some Russian elites. “No more: Shopping in Milano Partying in SaintTropez Diamonds in Antwerp,” he wrote. “This is a first step.” The tweet was later deleted.
Two other prominent individuals on the list were Maria Zakharova, the director of the foreign ministry’s Information and Press Department, who is the ministry’s spokesperson; and Margarita Simonyan, who leads the television network RT.
The top Russian military leadership and senior executives at the state-owned VTB Bank, which itself was not listed, featured in the sanctions package, as did a number of other media personalities that the European Union regards as “propagandists.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin — a Russian businessman with close links to Mr. Putin who owns, among other things, the mercenary group Wagner — was included on the E.U. sanctions list alongside several members of his family.
The sanctions mean that the individuals will be barred from traveling to the European Union and their assets will be frozen — although the asset freezes could be tricky to implement, given the willingness of European banking systems to conceal Russian wealth in complex ownership structures.
The sanctions package, which runs several hundred pages long, also includes bans on the import of dozens of goods and services, as well as an effective ban on Russia’s raising funds in European capital markets through short- and long-term bonds.