Ukrainian strike ‘destroys the railway’ cutting Kremlin supplies to Kherson

Jhe United States blacklisted the tycoon who owns London’s second-largest estate and Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend in the latest round of sanctions over the Ukraine invasion.

Several other oligarchs believed to be close to the Russian president, four officials appointed by Russia to administer occupied territories in Ukraine, and about two dozen high-tech institutes and companies, including key government-backed electronics entities. state, have also been hit by US trade bans.

“While innocent people suffer from Russia’s unlawful war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

“The Treasury Department will use every tool at its disposal to ensure that Russian elites and Kremlin enablers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives.”

The US Treasury has announced sanctions against:

  • Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast widely described as Putin’s girlfriend.
  • Putin associate and billionaire Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, owner of the Witanhurst Estate, London’s second largest estate after Buckingham Palace. Guryev is the founder and former vice president of PhosAgro, a major supplier to global fertilizer markets. He and his son have been hit with financial sanctions, which prohibit US companies – including banks with US branches – from doing business with them and freeze their assets in US jurisdictions.
  • The Treasury has also blacklisted Guryev’s Caribbean-based 81m (267ft) yacht Alfa Nero, putting it at risk of seizure. However, the Treasury said Alfa Nero “would have shut down its location tracking hardware to avoid a seizure”.
  • Natalya Popova, the wife of Kirill Dmitriev, the manager of the Russian government’s huge sovereign wealth fund. The US Treasury said Popova worked for tech company Innopraktika, which is run by one of Putin’s daughters.
  • Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov, one of Russia’s biggest taxpayers, and two subsidiaries of his MMK, which is among the world’s largest steel producers, were also hit with sanctions.

In a joint action, the State Department imposed sanctions, including visa restrictions, on oligarchs “running huge revenue-generating businesses”, including Dmitry Aleksandrovich Pumpyanskiy, Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko and Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko.

In addition, nearly 900 Russian officials have been placed on a U.S. visa ban list, along with 31 unnamed non-Russian officials who supported Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the State Department said.

“The United States is taking additional steps to ensure that the Kremlin and its enablers feel the cumulative effects of our response to the Kremlin’s impermissible war of aggression,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

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