The U.S. imposed new sanctions Tuesday targeting Russian elites, including oligarchs and a woman — one-time Olympic rhythmic gymnast champion Alina Kabaeva — often named in news reports as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s lover and mother of four of his children.
The Treasury Department froze the visa of Kabaeva, 39, and imposed other property restrictions on her. She is a former member of the Russian Duma, the country’s legislative body, and is also head of a Russian national media company that has promoted Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kremlin opponents and Putin critic Alexey Navalny have called for sanctions against Kabaeva, contending that her news outlet had taken the lead in portraying Western commentary on the invasion as a disinformation campaign.
Britain sanctioned Kabaeva in May, and the European Union imposed travel and asset restrictions on her in June.
Among the others sanctioned was Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev, an oligarch who owns the Witanhurst estate, a 25-bedroom mansion considered to be the second-largest estate in London after Buckingham Palace.
The U.S. also blocked movement of his $120 million yacht, the Alfa Nero, and sanctioned 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 in a statement.
“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.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “As Ukrainians continue to valiantly defend their homeland in the face of President Putin’s brutal war, Russia’s elite are running massive revenue-generating companies and funding their own opulent lifestyles outside of Russia. Today, the United States is taking additional actions to ensure that the Kremlin and its enablers feel the compounding effects of our response to the Kremlin’s unconscionable war of aggression.”