- Associated Press - Friday, April 6, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) - Some of Russia’s richest and most influential people were hit with sanctions Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

In total, 24 Russian officials and tycoons face new restrictions while a dozen companies were targeted as Washington stepped up its condemnation of Russia’s actions in recent years, including its 2014 annexation of Crimea, support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, hacking attacks and meddling in Western elections.

A look at some of those targeted by the new U.S. sanctions:



- Kirill Shamalov: At 36, he is Russia’s youngest billionaire and reportedly married to President Vladimir Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova. The Treasury Department states directly that he is Putin’s son-in-law, although the Kremlin has never acknowledged that Tikhonova is Putin’s younger daughter. Media reports earlier this year said the couple had split. In 2014, Shamalov acquired a large share of Russian petrochemical company Sibur, later selling most of his stake for an undisclosed sum. Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $1.4 billion.

- Igor Rotenberg: He is the 44-year-old son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, Putin’s friend since both started practicing judo as teenagers in the 1960s. He began his career as a partner of his father and later came to control the oil and gas exploration company Gazprom Burenie and an operator of a nationwide toll system for heavy trucks. Forbes estimated his wealth at over $1.1 billion.

- Oleg Deripaska: The metals tycoon controls a business empire with assets in aluminum, energy and construction and is worth $5.3 billion, according to Forbes. Deripaska, 55, figured in the Russia investigation over his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who once worked as his consultant.

- Viktor Vekselberg: The magnate built his fortune, currently estimated by Forbes at $14.6 billion, by investing in aluminum and oil industries. More recently, he has expanded his assets to include industrial equipment and high technologies. Vekselberg, 60, also gained notoriety in 2004 by buying the world’s largest private collection of imperial Faberge eggs - nine in total - and bringing it back to Russia.



- Andrei Kostin: He heads Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, which is majority-owned by the state and plays a pivotal role in the Russian economy. Kostin, 61, is part of the Kremlin elite and is involved in making key economic decisions.

- Alexei Miller: The CEO of Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant, is a longtime associate of Putin’s. Miller, 56, has played a key role in spearheading Gazprom’s expansion, including its booming gas sales to Europe.

- Nikolai Patrushev: The KGB veteran is the secretary of the presidential Security Council, a body that includes Cabinet members and chiefs of intelligence agencies. Patrushev, 66, known for his hawkish anti-Western stance, has been involved in preparing key foreign policy decisions and is believed to be one of Putin’s closest and most influential advisers.

- Viktor Zolotov: He began his career as a KGB bodyguard in the 1970s and served as the chief of the presidential security service for 13 years from 2000. Zolotov, 64, is another powerful representative of Kremlin hawks. As the National Guard chief, he commands a force that numbers hundreds of thousands of troops.

- Alexei Dyumin: He served as Putin’s chief security guard and assistant before being promoted to lead the Russian military’s special operations forces. In 2014, he oversaw the annexation of Crimea and the following year became a deputy defense minister. Since his 2016 appointment as governor of the Tula region, Dyumin, 45, has received unusually prominent coverage by state media, fueling speculation Putin is grooming him as a possible successor.

- Yevgeny Shkolov: He reportedly has known Putin since the 1980s when they worked together as KGB officers in Dresden, East Germany. In 2012, Putin named Shkolov to a key Kremlin position overseeing personnel and later put him in charge of anti-corruption efforts. Shkolov, 62, has kept a low profile but is believed to be close to Putin.

- Vladimir Kolokoltsev: A career police officer, he became Russia’s interior minister in charge of the entire national police force in 2012. Kolokoltsev, 56, is considered to be a good professional who doesn’t have much political clout.

- Mikhail Fradkov: Now 67, he began his career as a Soviet foreign trade official and then held a succession of government jobs, serving as prime minister from 2004 to 2007 during Putin’s second presidential term. For the following decade, he headed Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the KGB successor agency dealing with spying abroad. In 2017, he was given an honorary position at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, a government-funded think tank that was reportedly involved in Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

- Alexander Zharov: The 53-year-old head of Roskomnadzor, the state communications oversight agency, has directed its efforts to shut down some online media and other resources critical of the Kremlin, but he’s not perceived as someone who wields any political influence.

- Konstantin Kosachev: He is a 55-year-old career diplomat who held various Foreign Ministry positions until his election to parliament in 1999. As the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, Kosachev has actively promoted the Kremlin foreign policy agenda, but like other members of the rubber-stamp parliament he’s not seen as close to decision-making.



The U.S. list includes several companies owned and controlled by Deripaska, including Basic Element Limited and EN+ Group, which is registered in Jersey. The list also includes companies controlled by Shamalov, Rotenberg and Vekselberg. In addition, the sanctions target the state-controlled arms trader, Rosoboronexport, and the Russian Financial Corporation Bank owned by it.

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