After Bucha killings, US targets Putin’s daughters and Russian banks in new sanctions

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Image Source : AP

People stand next to a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv

The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and said it was toughening penalties against Russian banks in retaliation for “war crimes” in Ukraine.

The moves against Sberbank and Alfa Bank prohibit assets from touching the U.S. financial system and bar Americans from doing business with those institutions.

In addition to sanctions aimed at Putin’s adult daughters, Mariya Putina and Katerina Tikhonova, the U.S. is targeting Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin; the wife and children of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; and members of Russia’s Security Council, including Dmitry Medvedev, a former president and prime minister.

The penalties cut of all of Putin’s close family members off from the U.S. financial system and freeze any assets they hold in the United States.

Videos and images of bodies in the streets of Bucha after it was recaptured from Russian forces have unleashed a wave of indignation among Western allies, who have drawn up new sanctions as a response.

The European Commission’s proposed ban on coal imports would be the first EU sanctions targeting Russia’s lucrative energy industry over its war in Ukraine.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said energy was key to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war coffers.

“A billion euro is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he provides us since the beginning of the war. We have given him 35 billion euros. Compare that to the one billion that we have given to Ukraine in arms and weapons,” Borrell said.

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After several European countries announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the European Commission proposed the fifth package of sanctions including a ban on coal imports that could be adopted as soon as Wednesday once unanimously approved by the 27-nation bloc’s ambassadors. Western allies have already cut out several Russian banks of the SWIFT financial messaging system, which daily moves countless billions of dollars around more than 11,000 banks and other financial institutions around the world.

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