Biden hits more Oligarchs in the Rubles with new round of sanctions

Biden hits MORE Oligarchs in the Rubles: US sanctions Russian billionaire and his $800M superyacht, ex-deputy PM who flies corgis to Putin on his private jet the Kremlin’s press secretary and chef

  • President Joe Biden announced sanctions on seven more Russian oligarchs, their family members, and Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov 
  • Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov, one of the wealthiest men in Russia and a close confident of Putin’s, was a top target of the latest round of sanctions 
  • Other targets were Yevgeniy Prigozhin, known as Putin’s ‘chef’and Igor Shuvalov, who flies his wife’s corgis on their private jet  
  • The White House has said more sanctions could be targeting Putin’s inner circle during the invasion
  • But the administration is facing mounting pressure from Congress to ban imports of Russian oil and gas  

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sanctions on seven more Russian oligarchs, their family members, and Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Additionally the administration will also impose visa restrictions on 19 oligarchs and 47 of their family members and close associates as the White House continues its crackdown on Putin’s wealthy inner circle after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov, one of the wealthiest men in Russia and a close confident of Putin’s, was a top target of the latest round of sanctions. As was Igor Shuvalov, the former Russian deputy prime minister who flies his wife’s corgis on their private jet.

‘These oligarchs are known to direct, authorize, fund, significantly support, or carry out malign activities in support of Russia’s destabilizing foreign policy,’ the White House said in a statement. 

‘These individuals and their family members will be cut off from the U.S. financial system; their assets in the United States will be frozen and their property will be blocked from use,’ the White House noted.

The administration also said more sanctions on Russian billionaires could come.

In Ukraine on Thursday, its two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, remained under a heavy bombing campaign overnight with missiles striking civilian areas – including a train station in the Ukrainian capital being used to evacuate people from the city and as a shelter for those who cannot or have chosen not to leave. 

Chernihiv, in the north west, and Mariupol, in the south, also remain under Ukrainian control despite being all-but surrounded by Russian forces and coming under heavy bombardment.

The Biden administration is seeking $10 billion in additional emergency funding to help the battered nation in addition to announcing the additional sanctions. 

‘Today I’m announcing that we’re adding dozens of names to the list including one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires and I’m banning travel to America by more than 50 Russian oligarchs, their families and their close associates. And we’re going to continue to support the Ukrainian people with direct assistance,’ Biden said. 

‘The goal was to maximize the impact on Putin and Russia and minimize the harm on us and our allies and friends around the world,’ Biden said of sanctions.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Biden vowed to go after the ‘ill-begotten gains’ of Russian oligarchs, including their private jets, luxury apartments and yachts. 

And, on Wednesday, the Justice Department announced a task force called ‘Kleptocapture’ – designed to go after those billionaires and their high-ticket items. 


Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov: worth $14.3 billion USD

Alisher Ushmanov is one of Russia’s wealthiest individuals and a close ally of Putin 

Ushmanov is one of Russia’s wealthiest individuals and a close ally of Putin. The European Union has already sanctioned him.

He built his wealth through metal and mining operations, and investments in the fall of the Soviet Union. 

His property will be blocked from use in the United States and by U.S. persons – including his superyacht, one of the world’s largest, and just seized by Germany, and his private jet, one of Russia’s largest privately-owned aircraft.  

His yacth, with an estimated value of £600million, remains at shipyards in the northern city of Hamburg where it has been for a refitting job since late October.

Dilbar was custom-built for Usmanov by German shipbuilder Lürssen and took 52 months to finish.

She is one of the world’s largest yachts by volume and can hold over 100 passengers and crew in 58 cabins.

Sanctioned Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s megayacht has been seized by German authorities

Usmanov’s aircraft, M-IABU, is an Airbus A340-300 worth between $350 and $500 million

Alisher Usmanov, with wife Irina Viner, head coach of Russia’s national rhythmic gymnastics team, in November 2018

The yacht is part of Usmanov’s multibillion pound fortune, which spans stakes in iron ore and steel giant Metalloinvest and consumer electronics firm Xiaomi, as well as holdings in telecom, mining and media.

Usmanov’s aircraft, M-IABU, is an Airbus A340-300 with serial number 955. The jet is registered in the Isle of Man and is believed to have cost between $350 and $500 million. The aircraft’s moniker, Bourkhan, is Usmanov’s father’s name. Additionally, the plane’s registration spells out ‘I’m Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov.’ 

As recently as 2018,  the 68-year-old had a 30 per cent stake in Arsenal FC but sold out to American owner Stan Kroenke.

He also owns Beechwood House in the Highgate area of north London and Sutton Place in Surrey – collectively worth over £200million. 

A former fencer, he is the former president of the Russian Fencing Federation. 

His wife Irina Viner, head coach of Russia’s national rhythmic gymnastics team, is close to Putin. 

Dmitry Peskov, worth $10 million USD

Peskov is President Putin’s press secretary and the White House called him ‘a top purveyor of Putin’s lies.’

There are questions Peskov’s wealth and how he and his wife, Tatiana Navka, seem able to afford a super-affluent lifestyle. 

Navka, a champion ice dancer who won gold for Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympics. A Russian citizen, she lived and trained for more than a decade in the US. 

The couple both have children from previous relationships, and a daughter born in August 2014. 

Peskov’s wife, Tatiana Navka, who won Olympic gold in skating. Peskov’s wife, Tatiana Navka (right) won Olympic gold in skating

Navka cashed in on her gold, she has enjoyed lucrative TV and advertising deals.

In October 2014, Navka bought a state-of-the-art property in Rublyovka, the forested area west of Moscow that is home to Putin and many from the country’s ruling elite, The Guardian found.

Peskov has been a confidant of Putin for 20 years. 

He also was involved in discussions over a possible Trump property deal in Moscow, held with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. The project never came to fruition.

Nikolai Tokarev, worth $12 million

Nikolai Tokarev is president of the Russian pipeline company Transneft, the largest oil pipeline company in the world

Tokarev and his wife Galina, daughter Mayya, and his two luxury real estate companies are being sanctioned.

He is president of the Russian pipeline company Transneft, the largest oil pipeline company in the world. 

Transneft operates over 43,000 miles of trunk pipelines and transports about 80% of oil and 30% of oil products produced in Russia.

The United States is cracking down on Russia’s main source of income – its gas and oil – although White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration does not support a ban on Russian oil and gas products. 

His wife and daughter have enriched themselves through Tokarev’s connections, the U.S. government charges.

Maiya Tokareva’s real estate empire has been valued at more than $50 million in Moscow, Russia. One of her companies owns prime oceanfront real estate on a Croatian island that includes a villa built by the 19th century Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I.

Boris Rotenberg, worth $1.2 billion USD

Boris Rotenberg co-owns a large construction company with his brother

Rotenberg, his wife Karina, and his sons Roman and Boris are also on the sanction list. 

Rotenberg and his brother Arkady co-own the SGM (StroyGazMontazh) group, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia. 

He was listed by Forbes as Russia’s 69th wealthiest person in 2016 and is a close confidant of Putin.

He and Putin trained in judo together.  Boris Rotenberg, 65, worked as a martial arts trainer as recently as the 1990s and is now vice president of Russia’s Judo Federation.

The married father-of-five is also a motorsports fan, and sponsors the SMP Racing Project, which supports young Russian drivers.

His wife Katerina broadcasts her luxury lifestyle to 28,000 fans on Instagram, including photos of her competing in horse riding, relaxing on a super yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, and attending numerous balls.

She displays her toned physique with captions such as ‘sports is my photoshop’, and the socialist also appeared on the cover of Russian Tatler.

The US Treasury claimed that Boris, and his brother, received billions of pounds worth contracts with Gazprom and for roads and other infrastructure used in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. 

Boris Rotenberg and his wife Karina Rotenberg posing for the cameras

Arkady Rotenberg, worth $3.1 billion USD

Arkady Rotenberg became a billionaire through lucrative state-sponsored construction projects and oil pipelines

Rotenberg and his sons Pavel and Igor and daughter Liliya are also sanctioned. 

He became a billionaire through lucrative state-sponsored construction projects and oil pipelines. 

The Pandora Papers leak implicated Rotenberg in facilitating and maintaining elaborate networks of offshore wealth for Russian political and economic elites.

He is a childhood friend of Putin. After Putin returned to Russia in 1990 from his KGB service, Rotenberg trained with him several times a week.

He owns a 2011 Benetti 65 meter yacht named Rahi. But had to sell his private jet to pay for previous rounds of sanctions. 

His son Igor Rotenberg, a 48-year-old married father-of-three, became a billionaire in dollar terms when he was handed a host of assets after his father Arkady Rotenbergr was sanctioned by the United States in 2014.

Sergei Chemezov, worth $400 million USD

Sergei Chemezov met Putin when they were in the KGB together

Chemezov is being sanctioned along with his wife Yekaterina, his son Stanislav, and stepdaughter Anastasiya.

He is the CEO of Rostec Corporation, a Russian state-owned defense conglomerate headquartered in Moscow.

A former KGB agent and high-ranking general, Chemezov befriended Putin when both were stationed in East Germany in the 1980s. 

Chemezov became wealthy when Putin became President of Russia. In 2007, Putin appointed him as CEO of Rostec. During his tenure, Rostec developed a new fighter jet called ‘Checkmate.’

The company was established in late 2007 to promote and export products for civil and defense sectors. Russia is the second-largest supplier of military goods in the world, behind the United States.  

The Pandora Papers leaks revealed that Chemezov and his family maintained a large network of offshore wealth, including a superyacht.

Igor Shuvalov, worth $200 million USD

Igor Shuvalov is former first deputy prime minister of Russia

Shuvalov, his five companies, his wife Olga, his son Evgeny and his company and jet, and his daughter Maria and her company are all on the sanctons list.

He is the former first deputy prime minister of Russia.

It was revealed he uses his secret private jet to fly his wife’s Corgi dogs around Europe for competitions because first class is ‘too uncomfortable’ for them, it has been claimed.

The dogs have names like Andvol Pinkerton, Andvol Tsesarevich, Andvol Ostap Bender, Andvol Hugo Boss, Andvol I’m Your Idol and Fox Pack Gabby Joy of Elves, according to anti-corruption campaigner and lawyer Alexei Navalny. 

As a minister, Shuvalov was long seen as the wealthiest member of Putin’s government. 

His daughter Maria, a ballerina, has earned almost $26 million a year from a mysterious second money source.   

Maria Shuvalova, 22, a dancer at the world famous Bolshoi Ballet, is raking in $100,000 a day for her other role in ‘capital asset management’.

Shuvalov uses his secret private jet to fly his wife’s Corgi dogs around Europe

Maria Shuvalova ( left) and her father Igor Shuvalov; Maria is a ballet dancer but also works in ‘capitol asset management’

Maria Shuvalova, 22, a dancer at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet and daughter of one of Putin’s closest allies, earned $29million in the year 2018. The earnings came from ‘capital asset management’ 

A January investigation by BAZA media company found she was paid by KSP Capital Asset Management, a company linked to Sergei Kotlyarenko, previously believed to be her father’s lawyer.

The company manages the assets of more than 600 individuals and 19 legal entities, say reports, but Maria is not listed as an employee.

Her father’s current employer VEB.RF – Russian’s state development corporation – insisted he has always strictly complied with rules for government servants, and referred BAZA’s queries to the KSP.

‘Maria may well claim to be the richest ballerina in Russia,’ BAZA reported. 

Yevgeniy Prigozhin, worth up to $5 million USD

Yevgeniy Prigozhin is known as Putin’s ‘chef’ as the Russian president eats at his restaurants

Prigozhin, his three companies, his wife, Polina, his daughter Lyubov, and his son Pavel) are all sanctioned.

Prigozhin was called ‘Putin’s chef’ because his restaurants and catering businesses hosted dinners which Putin attended with foreign dignitaries. He has reportedly received government contracts worth more than $200 billion.

Prigozhin controls ‘a network of companies,’ including three accused of interference in the 2016 United States elections.

Criminal charges were filed against 13 Russians and two Russian companies on Friday, as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. According to the indictment Prigozhin led the effort. 

 The FBI claims he used his businesses, Concord Catering and Concord Management and Consulting, to fund the Internet Research Agency, known as the ‘Kremlin Troll factory’ which was the vehicle for the alleged interference. 

Prigozhin ‘directs the generation of content to denigrate the U.S. electoral process and funds Russian interference efforts while also attempting to evade sanctions by standing up front and shell companies both in and outside of Russia,’ the U.S. government charges.

At your service: Prigozhinm was the go-to caterer for official Kremlin events. Above, Prigozhin serves Putin in 2011

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