Russia's foreign ministry has sanctioned a Hampstead-raised historian, claiming he "demonises" Russia and "denigrates" its citizens.

Former William Ellis pupil Orlando Figes is one of 18 British citizens including officials, academics and Russia experts who are are prohibited from entering Russia. 

News outlets Al Jazeera and Kyiv Independent have reported that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday: “We are forced to state that Russophobically charged British representatives do not shy away trying to discredit the constitutional system and socio-political processes in our country.

“The so-called brain trusts operating on the basis of the largest British and Western educational institutions make a significant contribution to the subversive work of London in the Russian direction.”

The Russian foreign ministry also said the United Kingdom’s strategy on Ukraine has led to further escalation and loss of life in the war.

“By pushing the Zelenskyy regime to continue the bloodshed, the British must realise that, along with Ukrainian neo-Nazis, they bear responsibility for crimes against civilians,” the ministry alleged.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014. 

Mr Figes is the son of Holocaust survivor, author and feminist Eva Figes who lived in Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead, for most of her life before her death in 2012.

Born in Islington and now living in The Barbican the Emeritus Professor at Birkbeck University is known for his works on Russian history, such as A People's Tragedy (1996), Natasha's Dance (2002), The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia (2007), Crimea (2010) and Just Send Me Word (2012).

Personal sanctions were also announced against British deputy defence minister James Cartlidge, deputy national security adviser Sarah MacIntosh and director of submarines Simon Asquith.