Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government sanctioned 29 more prominent Americans after the autocrat claims to have successfully tested an ICBM dubbed ‘Satan 2’
Russia is sanctioning 29 more prominent Americans on Thursday including Vice President Kamala Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over their alleged roles in pushing a ‘Russophobic agenda.’
The Kremlin announced it was hitting back at President Joe Biden’s ‘constantly widening’ net of sanctions against Russian officials, their families, businessmen and cultural figures by adding more than two dozen American public figures to its own ‘stop list.’
In addition to Harris and Emhoff, Russia is targeting U.S. officials including Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, deputy defense secretary Kathleen Hicks and State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Vladimir Putin is also sanctioning Biden health official Admiral Rachel Levine.
Levine, who is transgender, was listed under her pre and post transition names as ‘Richard/Rachel Levine.’
Journalists like ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos and CNN’s Bianna Golodryga — who was born in the former Soviet Union — are also on the list.
Golodryga invoked her Eastern European roots when she found out about the sanctions, writing on Twitter: ‘When my parents and I left the Soviet Union as refugees in 1980, we were told that our feet will never touch Soviet soil again. I guess the Kremlin waited more than four decades (and an unprovoked war against a former member state) to make it this official?’
The CEOs of LinkedIn and Bank Of America have also been blacklisted by Moscow, in addition to a slate of technology and aerospace company leaders.
During a State Department news briefing on Thursday, Price said it was an ‘accolade to have earned the ire of a government that lies to its own people’ in response to his own sanctions.
But Kremlin officials who put the list together appear to have made multiple mistakes.
In sanctioning Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Power Studies head David Deptula, the Foreign Ministry’s sanctions list drops a letter from his surname to read ‘Deptua.’
And it appears Russian officials have confused two different Edward Acevedos — sanctioning the ‘former member of the Illinois legislative assembly’ and ‘expert of the Wilson Center’ as one person.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are the highest-profile government officials on the Kremlin’s new blacklist
It also includes Biden health official Rachel Levine (left), who the Kremlin listed under both her pre- and post-transition names ‘Richard/Rachel Levine,’ and journalists like ABC’s George Stephanopoulos
The former, ex-Illinois state Rep. Eddie Acevedo, was sentenced to six months in prison for tax fraud charges last month.
Eddy Acevedo, who the Kremlin likely meant to sanction, is the chief of staff and senior adviser to the president of policy think tank the Wilson Center.
It comes after the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled another round of sanctions against Russia, after already cracking down on its top financial institutions and officials up to Putin himself.
The U.S. and its western allies have imposed several rounds of economic restrictions on Moscow since Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Wednesday’s American sanctions targeted a commercial Russian bank and a bitcoin mining company, in an effort to crack down on Moscow’s ability to evade sanctions using cryptocurrency.
Russia’s crypto mining industry is reportedly the third-largest in the world.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was also sanctioned in addition to the CEOs of LinkedIn and Bank of America, among others
Sanctions also hit more than 40 people and entities linked to previously-blacklisted Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev.
Biden’s Justice Department brought charges against Malofeyev, a pro-Kremlin media mogul, earlier this month after he was accused of violating sanctions levied over Russia’s invasion.
‘Our message to those who continue to enable the Russian regime through their criminal conduct is this: It does not matter how far you sail your yacht. It does not matter how well you conceal your assets,’ Attorney General Merrick Garland said during an April 6 press conference announcing the charges.
‘It does not matter how cleverly you write your malware or hide your online activity. The Justice Department will use every available tool to find you, disrupt your plots, and hold you accountable.’
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at the time, ‘We have our eyes on every dollar and jet. We have our eyes on every piece of art and real estate, purchased with dirty money and on every bitcoin wallet filled with proceeds of theft, and other crimes.’
She accused Malofeyev of ‘flagrantly and repeatedly’ violating sanctions while attempting to start media outlets that would ‘spread pro-Kremlin misinformation.’
Americans sanctioned by Moscow on Thursday join a lengthy list including the president, his son Hunter Biden, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and others — including nearly every member of the United States House of Representatives.
And on Wednesday, Putin announced his military conducted a successful missile test — with a rocket that could carry a nuclear warhead.
The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been dubbed ‘Satan 2’ by NATO and is considered to be Russia’s most powerful such weapon.
The Pentagon, however, dismissed concerns that day that the ICBM poses a threat to the U.S. or allied nations.