US sanctions on Russia’s tech sector, Ukraine’s proxy –

The US has imposed sanctions on a long list of Russian officials and companies and ramped up pressure to invade Ukraine while hoping to hamper any attempt to rebuild its badly damaged defense sector.

Senior officials overseeing operations in Russia’s securities markets, a neo-Nazi militant group, Russian and pro-Russian officials in occupied parts of Ukraine, and a children’s rights official allegedly overseeing the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia have all been blacklisted of the US set Thursday.

The secret service GRU and a high-ranking economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Maxim Oreshkin, were put on sanctions lists.

In parallel, US sanctions have been imposed on Russian space, computer and technology companies in an attempt to cripple Russia’s technological development and stifle its ability to renew and modernize its military after extensive losses in Ukraine.

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Five Russian officials were blacklisted for allegedly supporting or enabling Russians to steal Ukrainian grain.

“The United States continues to hold the Russian government accountable for its war against Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“Those named today — from violent criminals to officials facilitating the deliberate removal of children from Ukraine — provide examples of behavior that has become synonymous with the Russian government’s unprovoked war,” he said.

The US Treasury Department’s sanctions aim to freeze any assets the Designated Persons may have under US jurisdiction and prohibit US persons or companies – including international banks with US operations – from doing business with them, thereby their access to global financial networks is effectively restricted.

The sanctions targeted judicial officials in occupied Crimea and members of the family of the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, including three of his wives.

The Ministry of Finance has blacklisted Maria Alexeyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights.

Lvova-Belova works directly under Putin, the Treasury Ministry said, and has overseen the deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.

“Lvova-Belova’s efforts include notably the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called ‘patriotic upbringing’ of Ukrainian children, changes in the law to expedite the granting of citizenship of the Russian Federation to Ukrainian children, and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children from Russian armed forces,” it was said.

The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Task Force Rusich, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group fighting in Ukraine and linked to the Wagner mercenary army controlled by a close Putin aide, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The US also intensified its efforts to cut off Russian industry, and especially high-tech companies, from the world market in order to deprive them of capital and components from abroad.

The State Department placed 31 companies on its sanctions list, including three involved in the construction of space instruments, satellites and space defense equipment.

Others on the list are involved in semiconductor development, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and motor technology.

In addition, the US Commerce and Treasury Departments issued bans on the export of quantum computing technology and related software and hardware to Russia and Belarus.

The Treasury said it would affect Moscow’s ability to rebuild its military after suffering heavy casualties in the ongoing war.

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