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U.S. Announces Sanctions Against Putin’s Daughters

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The United States has announced multiple new sanctions, including on Russia President Vladimir Putin’s daughters, in response to reports of new war crimes committed by the Russian military during its invasion of Ukraine.

The “U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took major steps to degrade the economy of the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s continued brutal war against Ukraine and atrocities against Ukrainian citizens,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Treasury is imposing full blocking sanctions on Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, and Alfa-Bank, Russia’s largest private bank. Treasury is also targeting family members of President Vladimir Putin (Putin) and Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov (Lavrov), as well as Russian Security Council members who are complicit in the war against Ukraine. In addition, the President is issuing a new Executive Order today, which bans new investment in the Russian Federation and the provision of certain services to any person located in the Russian Federation by U.S. persons, wherever located.”

“Russia’s military forces have committed heinous atrocities in Ukraine and the global community must hold them to account,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said. “Today we are taking additional steps to cut off Russia from international markets in response to Putin’s continued brutality. This serious action, including fully blocking Russia’s largest bank and banning new investment in Russia, will further restrict Putin’s ability to fund and supply his war.”

The “sanctions against Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, also known as Mariya Putina, both of whom are widely considered to be Vladimir Putin’s daughters from his first marriage. They also targeted Maria Lavrova, the wife of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and their adult child, Ekaterina Lavrova,” according to The Washington Post.

A senior administration official told reporters in a phone conference the United States is targeting the family members of top Russian officials because they are believed to be using their families to protect their assets from other sanctions.

“We have reason to believe that Putin and many of his cronies and the oligarchs hide their wealth, hide their assets with family members, that place their assets and their wealth in the U.S. financial system but also many other parts of the world. And that’s why the coordination — the coordinated effort to freeze their assets and seize their physical luxury goods — their cars, their yachts, their homes, et cetera — that’s why it’s so important that we act together,” the official said.

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International

Biden Admin Announces Eased Restrictions On Cuba

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Joe Biden

On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it is easing restrictions on Cuba in order to help support the Cuban people.

“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis — and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.

The Biden administration’s changes include reduced restrictions on travel, along with removing “the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair and will authorize donative (i.e., non-family) remittances, which will support independent Cuban entrepreneurs.”

The move received backlash as many argued that reduced restrictions on Cuba will only benefit the Cuban dictatorship. According to Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the decision marks another policy failure by President Biden.

“Biden’s plan to prop up the Cuban dictatorship represents yet another failure when it comes to standing for freedom in our hemisphere,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

“Money from ‘tourism’ will go into the pockets of the Cuban regime – and will help fortify the government against those seeking freedom in Cuba,” he added.

The news comes a week after DeSantis announced that November 7 will now be Victims of Communism Day in Florida.

“Today, I established November 7th as Victims of Communism Day to honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism.”

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Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel

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Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.

“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”

The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.

“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”

“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”

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