The U.S. on Thursday imposed new economic sanctions on an array of Russians, including some that it accused of stealing Ukrainian grain, an official who allegedly has directed the deportation of tens of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, and relatives of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
“The United States continues to hold the Russian government to account for its war against Ukraine,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The top American diplomat said those targeted include major Russian defense entities, key advanced-technology firms that support Russia’s defense industrial base and financial infrastructure, a Russian military intelligence agency and individuals linked to human rights abuses.
Additional sanctions were levied on Kadyrov, who already had been blacklisted by the U.S. since 2017. The new blacklist also targets three of Kadyrov’s wives and three of his adult daughters.
Blinken said Maria Lvova-Belova was sanctioned for her efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
He said the sanctions targeted “key Russia-installed authority figures in Ukrainian territories currently controlled by the Russian military,” along with 31 defense, technology and electronics entities, “to further constrain Russia’s advanced technology industries and their contribution to Russia’s defense industrial base.”
Blinken said those targeted included 22 Russian proxy officials, including five that have overseen the seizure or theft of hundreds of thousands of tons of Ukrainian grain.
The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets held by those blacklisted and prohibits U.S. individuals or companies from doing business with them.
In Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hosted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for talks that she said would include “getting our economies and people closer while Ukraine progresses” toward membership in the European Union.
Ukraine applied to join the EU in late February, days after Russia launched its invasion. The EU granted Ukraine candidacy status in June.
Zelenskyy used part of his latest nightly address to criticize Russian cruise missile strikes on the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, which he said hit a reservoir dam with “no military value” that hundreds of thousands of civilians depend on.
The Ukrainian leader also said almost the entire Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine is “de-occupied” after Ukrainian forces took back large areas in a counteroffensive in the past two weeks.
The gains included retaking the city of Izium where Zelenskyy traveled Wednesday to meet with soldiers and thank them for their efforts.
“Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of newly liberated areas of Kharkiv Oblast,” Britain’s defense ministry said Thursday. “Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area west of the Oskil River.”
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.