US sanctions Kremlin-connected elites for 'complicity' in Ukraine war

Latest sanctions targets include billionaire owner of one of largest estates in London

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The US on Tuesday announced a new tranche of sanctions against Russian elites with connections to the Kremlin for their role in supporting the invasion of Ukraine.

“As innocent people suffer from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

Among those hit with sanctions were Andrey Guryev, a billionaire and associate of Mr Putin who owns Witanhurst, the second-largest estate in London after Buckingham Palace. The sanctions also name Mr Guryev's son and Alfa Nero, a yacht based in the Caribbean.

Viktor Rashnikov, majority owner of one of the world's largest steel producers, was also slapped with sanctions. Other Russian elites hit by the latest penalties included Alina Kabaeva — a former Olympic gymnast — and Natalya Popova, the statement read.

In a joint action, the State Department imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on oligarchs “running massive revenue-generating companies”, including Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, Andrey Melnichenko and Alexander Ponomarenko, as well as about 900 officials and a series of defence and technology-related firms aiding “Russia's war machine”.

“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 Blinken said.

The latest sanctions seize any US-based funds or properties owned by the individuals or organisations named and prohibit US-based first firms from conducting financial business with them.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

Updated: August 03, 2022, 8:34 PM