(Reuters) -Russia on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 333 Canadian officials and public figures, including prominent Olympians, in what it said was a tit-for-tat response to Canadian restrictions on Moscow and support for Ukraine.
Russia has routinely placed sanctions on Western officials and high-profile individuals - effectively a permanent ban on them entering Russia - since the West targeted hundreds of Russian individuals and companies over the invasion of Ukraine.
The list, published by Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday, includes Canada's Governor General Mary Simon, more than 250 members of regional legislative assemblies, and scores of Canadian athletes who have publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes competing at the 2024 Olympics.
"This measure is designed to encourage those on the black list to change their behaviour," the ministry said in a statement.
The Canadian Olympians targeted by Russia include ice dancer Tessa Virtue, a five-time Olympic medallist, and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, a six-time Olympian.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Barbara Lewis)