WASHINGTON (UKTN) — A new round of US sanctions targeting Russian elites includes a woman reported in news reports as Vladimir Putin’s longtime romantic partner.
The finance ministry said on Tuesday that the government has frozen the visa of Alina Kabaeva, a youth Olympic gymnast and former member of the State Duma, and imposed other restrictions on ownership. The department said it also heads a Russian national media company promoting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Critics of the Kremlin and imprisoned Russian rights activist Alexey Navalny have called for sanctions against Kabaeva, saying her news channel took the lead in portraying Western commentary on the invasion as a campaign of disinformation.
The UK sanctioned Kabaeva in May and the EU imposed travel and power restrictions on her in June.
Also named in Treasury’s latest sanctions package is Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, an oligarch who owns the Witanhurst estate, a 25-bedroom mansion that is the second largest estate in London after Buckingham Palace.
His $120 million yacht, the Alfa Nero, was also identified as blocked property. His son Andrey Andreevich Guryev and his son’s Russian investment company Dzhi AI Invest OOO were also sanctioned.
Christian Contardo, a former Treasury attorney now at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, says, “What we’ve seen is that the US government has found that many oligarchs are using family as a way to circumvent sanctions.”
“Some oligarchs will transfer ownership to their wives and children,” he said.
In April, the US imposed sanctions on Putin’s adult daughters Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova.
Russian steelmaker Publichnoe Aktsionernoe Obschestvo Magnitogorskiy Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat, also known as MMK, its chairman of the board, Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov, and its subsidiaries, were also facing financial sanctions.
In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported today that 893 officials of the Russian Federation, including the Federation Council and military members, will have their visas blocked.
“While innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and financed a lavish lifestyle,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Along with our allies, the United States will also continue to swallow revenues and equipment that support Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated US support “for the brave people of Ukraine and will continue to promote accountability for President Putin and his cronies whose actions have caused so much suffering and destruction in Ukraine. ”