A new round of US sanctions targeting Russian elites includes a woman named in news reports as Vladimir Putin's longtime romantic partner.
The Treasury Department said yesterday that the government has frozen the visa of Alina Kabaeva, an Olympic gymnast in her youth and former member of the state Duma, and imposed other property restrictions. The department said she is also head of a Russian national media company that promotes Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Critics of the Kremlin and imprisoned Russian rights campaigner Alexey Navalny have been calling for sanctions against Kabaeva, saying her news outlet took the lead in portraying Western commentary on the invasion as a disinformation campaign.
The UK sanctioned Kabaeva in May and the EU imposed travel and asset restrictions on her in June.
Also named in Treasury's latest sanctions package is Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, an oligarch who owns the Witanhurst estate, a 25-bedroom mansion that is the second-largest estate in London after Buckingham Palace.
His $120 million yacht, the Alfa Nero, was also identified as blocked property. Also sanctioned was his son Andrey Andreevich Guryev and his son's Russian investment firm Dzhi AI Invest OOO.
"As innocent people suffer from Russia's illegal war of aggression, Putin's allies have enriched themselves and funded opulent lifestyles," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
"Together with our allies, the United States will also continue to choke off revenue and equipment underpinning Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine."
The State Department also imposed additional visa restrictions and other sanctions.
In April, the US imposed sanctions on Putin's adult daughters Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova.