Ukraine War News: U.S. Hits Russian Oligarchs and Companies With New Sanctions

Credit…Leon Neal/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The State Department on Tuesday announced a major new round of sanctions on dozens of Russian companies and individuals to further punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, including oligarchs close to President Vladimir V. Putin and technology institutions with ties to Russia’s military.

“As Ukrainians continue to valiantly defend their homeland in the face of President Putin’s brutal war, Russia’s elite are running massive revenue-generating companies and funding their own opulent lifestyles outside of Russia,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement announcing the measures.

Many of the new targets on the new State Department list, or on a list announced by the Treasury Department on Tuesday, are already under sanctions imposed by the European Union and Britain. One is Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast and member of the Russian Duma long believed to be Mr. Putin’s romantic partner.

The move blocks Ms. Alina from access to any assets in the United States or conducting transactions with Americans, and it denies her a visa to enter the United States.

Other new targets include several billionaires: Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, the chairman of a Russian steel manufacturer; Andrey Melnichenko, the founder of fertilizer and coal companies; and Alexander Ponomarenko, a businessman who has “close ties to other oligarchs and the construction of Vladimir Putin’s seaside palace,” Mr. Blinken said.

Also covered under the new measures are two dozen of Russia’s “most important defense-related research and development institutions, semiconductor producers, and advanced computing and electronics entities,” Mr. Blinken said. They include the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, which has developed drones and other devices for Russia’s military.

Mr. Putin has “repeatedly underscored his concerns about Russia’s access to microelectronics,” a State Department fact sheet said, asserting that the new measures would deal a fresh blow to Russia’s war machine.

Daniel Fried, a former coordinator for U.S. sanctions policy in the Obama administration, called the new measures “a solid piece of work,” saying that the actions against high-tech entities were especially significant.

He also said that experts on Russia and sanctions took note of the measures against Mr. Putin’s reputed romantic partner. “Many of us smiled when we saw Kabaeva,” he said.

Mr. Fried urged the Biden administration to redouble its efforts to impose a more consequential global cap on the purchase price of Russian oil, which could deprive the Kremlin of billions of dollars in revenue. Leaders of the Group of Seven discussed such a cap at a meeting in Germany in late June, but no but have not announced a concrete plan.

“They need to deliver — it’s been a month,” he said. “They need something effective to eat into Putin’s income. This package is good, but the need requires even more.”

Also on the new U.S. list is the Joint Stock Company State Transportation Leasing Company, a state-owned enterprise that the State Department identified as Russia’s largest transportation leasing company, and four of its subsidiaries.

And the State Department will impose visa restrictions on another 893 Russian government officials, for hostile actions toward Ukraine, along with 31 foreign government officials who have supported Russia’s claims to Ukrainian territory, Mr. Blinken said.

Mr. Blinken said the United States was also imposing sanctions on four men and one organization for “illegitimately operating in Ukraine’s territory in collaboration with Russia.” One of the four is Kostyantyn Ivashchenko, whom U.S. officials called “the illegitimate mayor of Russia-controlled Mariupol.”

The organization singled out by American officials is the Salvation Committee for Peace and Order, which the State Department said was established in Ukraine’s Kherson region to support Moscow’s efforts to seize control there.

Among the Treasury Departments sanction targets are three “Kremlin-connected elites.” They include Andrey Guryev, “a known close associate” of Mr. Putin who owns Witanhurst, a 25-bedroom mansion and grounds said to be the second-biggest residential property in London, after Buckingham Palace, the department said in a news release.

The Treasury Department also placed sanctions on Mr. Guryev’s yacht, the Alfa Nero, which he reportedly purchased for $120 million in 2014. The department said the Alfa Nero had reportedly shut off its location-tracking system.

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