US targets Putin and Russian oligarchs in fresh sanctions

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The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on more Russian oligarchs and elites, increasing pressure on those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin in punishment over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Those hit with sanctions on Friday include 10 people comprising VTB Bank’s board, 12 members of the Duma and the family of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

Russian forces are continuing their attempted push through Ukraine from multiple directions, while Ukrainians, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are putting up “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The attack began Feb. 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation.”

Russian forces moving from neighboring Belarus toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, have advanced closer to the city center in recent days despite the resistance, coming within about 9 miles as of Friday.

Russia has been met by sanctions from the United States, Canada and countries throughout Europe, targeting the Russian economy as well as Putin himself.

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The Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Russia, targeting bankers, state officials, oligarchs and the family of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov was already sanctioned last week, but his wife and two adult children are now designated, with the Treasury saying they “live luxurious lifestyles that are incongruous with Peskov’s civil servant salary and are likely built on the ill-gotten wealth of Peskov’s connections to Putin.”

The U.S. is also sanctioning Russian oligarch and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, going after assets that include a private jet and a yacht estimated to be a combined $180 million in value.

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