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Russia Slaps Sanctions on Members of Ukraine's Elite

FILE - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev chairs a meeting with members of the government in Moscow, Russia, June 29, 2017. On Thursday, Medvedev announced sanctions against Ukrainian individuals and entities "to counter Ukraine's unfriendly activities."

Russia has imposed sweeping financial sanctions on 322 members of the Ukrainian elite and 68 companies owned by prominent Ukrainian businessmen.

Among the individuals targeted by the sanctions are:

  • President Petro Poroshenko's son, Oleksiy
  • Interior Minister Arsen Avakov
  • Security Service chief Vasyl Hrytsak
  • Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze
  • Businessman Viktor Pinchuk
  • Former prime ministers Yulia Tymoshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk
  • Former leader of the ultranationalist Right Sector group, Dmytro Yarosh

The sanctions were announced in a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev published on the Russian government's website on November 1.

According to the decree, the goal of the measure is to counter Ukraine's unfriendly activities "towards Russian citizens and entities, and to normalize bilateral relations."

The list also includes:

  • Secretary of Ukraine's Council for National Security and Defense, Oleksandr Turchynov
  • Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak
  • Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Petrenko
  • Chief of the Ukrainian Army's General Staff Viktor Muzhenko
  • Deputy speaker of the parliament Iryna Herashchenko
  • Veteran leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev

The sanctions include the freezing of assets and property on Russia's territory.

Among those affected are also judges of Ukraine's Constitutional Court, Ukrainian lawmakers, oligarchs, officials of the presidential office, executive officials, and major Ukrainian companies.

Medvedev's move came 10 days after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting the stage for "special economic measures" against Ukraine, instructing the government to draft a list of Ukrainian firms and individuals to be targeted for economic sanctions.

Putin's October 22 decree said punitive measures could be canceled if Ukraine lifts all restrictions it has imposed against Russian citizens and companies.

Ukraine, like the United States and the European Union, has imposed sanctions on Russian businesspeople, companies, and other entities in response to Moscow's seizure and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

On October 23, Medvedev said Moscow was preparing sanctions that will also ban imports to Russia of some Ukrainian products. He did not specify which Ukrainian products would be listed under Russia's import ban.

In June, Putin signed a law on countermeasures against the United States and other countries that have sanctions against Russia.