US President Joe Biden's administration rolled out new sanctions on Thursday targeting Russian-appointed proxies in Ukraine, more than 20 Russian governors, and a wealthy Russian oligarch who is believed to be close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Department and the Treasury Department announced on Thursday.
The Russian oligarch now under US sanctions is Vladimir Potanin, who US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described as “one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs and a close associate of President Putin.” The Biden administration also sanctioned Potanin's company — a bank that his company acquired this year — and three of his family members, Blinken said. The US additionally identified his yacht as blocked property.
Blinken said that those targeted by the sanctions include 29 Russian heads of regions and governors, two of their family members, and an entity owned by one of the family members who was “helping to advance Russia’s invasion and control of Ukrainian territory.”
The governors “oversee and enforce the conscription of citizens in response to Russia’s recent mobilization order," Blinken said.
The US also went after Russians who have been put into positions of power in Ukrainian territory by the Kremlin.
“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,” Blinken said.
The sanctions also hit the board members of Russian railways, and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is also designating 17 subsidiaries of VTB Bank, Blinken said.
The sanctions come after Russia’s recent attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure that have “caused extraordinary death and destruction,” Blinken added.