The US Treasury Department on Tuesday sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin's reputed girlfriend as part of a series of measures targeting Russian elites in the Biden administration's latest attempt to punish the Kremlin for its ongoing war in Ukraine.
Alina Maratovna Kabaeva, who has been romantically linked to the Russian leader, was sanctioned "for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation," a Treasury Department statement said.
That statement describes the 39-year-old Kabaeva as having "a close relationship to Putin." She is a former member of the State Duma "and is the current head of the National Media Group, a pro-Kremlin empire of television, radio, and print organizations."
In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that sanctioning Kabaeva was under consideration by the US, but there was concern that such a move would inflame tensions given her close proximity to Putin.
Kabaeva was previously sanctioned by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
In addition to Kabaeva, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against a number of other oligarchs, a major steel production company and two of its subsidiaries as well as a financial institution accused of running a sanctions evasion operation and its general director.
Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions on three oligarchs, a Russian state-owned company overseen by the Ministry of Transportation, "four individuals and one entity illegitimately operating in Ukraine's territory in collaboration with Russia," and 24 Russian defense and technology-related entities.
The US is also imposing visa restrictions on 893 Russian Federation officials and "31 foreign government officials who have acted to support Russia's purported annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and thereby threatened or violated Ukraine's sovereignty," Blinken said.
Many of the designations announced by the US target oligarchs who were previously sanctioned by allies like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the European Union. They come as the war in Ukraine has entered its sixth month.
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