The United States has added Russian space, technology companies and the GRU intelligence agency, among others, to its sanctions list.
The United States has imposed sanctions on a long list of Russian officials and companies, increasing pressure to invade Ukraine while hoping to hamper any attempts to rebuild its badly damaged defense sector.
Senior officials overseeing operations in Russian stock markets, a group of neo-Nazi fighters, Russian and pro-Russian officials in occupied parts of Ukraine and a child rights official who allegedly led the removal of Ukrainian children to Russia were all blacklisted by the US on Thursday.
The GRU intelligence agency and one of President Vladimir Putin’s top economic advisers, Maxim Oreshkin, have been placed on sanctions lists.
At the same time, US sanctions have been imposed on Russian space, computer and technology companies in an attempt to cripple Russia’s technological development and stifle its ability to refurbish and modernize its military after heavy losses in Ukraine.
Five Russian officials have been blacklisted for allegedly supporting or permitting Russian theft of Ukrainian grain.
“The United States continues to hold the Russian government to account for its war against Ukraine,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“Those named today – from the perpetrators of violence to an official facilitating the deliberate removal of children from Ukraine – provide examples of the behavior that has become synonymous with unprovoked war by the Russian government,” he said. .
The US Treasury sanctions seek to freeze any assets the designated individuals may hold under US jurisdiction and bar any US person or company – including international banks with US operations – from doing business with them, thereby limiting their access to global financial networks.
The sanctions targeted justice officials in occupied Crimea and family members of Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, including three of his wives.
The Treasury has blacklisted Maria Alexeyevna Lvova-Belova, Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
Working directly under Putin, the Treasury said, Lvova-Belova oversaw the deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.
“Lvova-Belova’s efforts specifically include the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called ‘patriotic upbringing’ of Ukrainian children, legislative changes to expedite the granting of citizenship of the Federation of Russia to Ukrainian children and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children by Russian forces,” he said.
The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Task Force Rusich, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group fighting in Ukraine and associated with Wagner’s mercenary army controlled by Putin’s close adviser Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Targeting Russian Technology
The United States has also intensified its efforts to cut off Russian industry and in particular high-tech entities from the world market, seeking to deprive them of capital and components from abroad.
The State Department has put 31 companies on its sanctions list, including three involved in building space instruments, satellites and space defense equipment.
Others on the list are involved in semiconductor development, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and motor technologies.
Additionally, the US Departments of Commerce and Treasury have banned the export of quantum computing technology and related software and hardware to Russia and Belarus.
The Treasury said it would degrade Moscow’s ability to rebuild its military after heavy losses in the ongoing war.
“As Ukraine strives to defend its freedom, we are taking action today to further degrade Russia’s ability to rebuild its military, hold perpetrators of violence accountable and further isolate Putin financially,” the statement said. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a statement.
In the Russian financial sector, the sanctions targeted the heads of key institutions, including the National Payment Card System (NSPK), which operates the Mir payment card network; the National Custodian of Establishments; Central Counterparty National Clearing Center (CCP NCC), which handles settlement for the Moscow Stock Exchange; and the Deposit Insurance Agency.