The State and Treasury departments announced sanctions against one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs and a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, members of the oligarch’s family, and nearly 30 regional heads and governors.
The department sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, his wife and two adult children, his company, and his superyacht, Nirvana, which it said was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, on Thursday. There were also 29 Russian heads of regions and governors and a couple of their family members, who were also sanctioned, as were six proxy authorities and an entity operating in the areas of Ukraine Russia purportedly annexed.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Potanin as “one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs and a close associate of President Putin” in a statement announcing the sanctions. He added, “Our actions today are a clear message that the United States will not hesitate to continue to use the tools at our disposal to promote an end to, and accountability for, President Putin’s unconscionable war.”
The U.S. also sanctioned the officials Russia put in positions of power in occupied Ukrainian territories.
“We also are designating six proxy authorities and an entity operating on behalf of the Kremlin in Ukraine. This includes the former ‘Minister of Internal Affairs’ of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, who led a battalion that fought in Mariupol and oversees the operations of filtration camps that facilitate the forced relocation of Ukraine’s citizens to Russia,” the secretary explained.
The sanctions also included the board members of Russian railways and 17 subsidiaries of VTB Bank.
The U.S. has frequently announced new sanctions against various Russian officials and companies involved in its war in Ukraine. It’s done this and provided Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of aid to assist Ukraine while trying not to escalate the war.