The list includes three of Kadyrov's wives and three of his adult daughters. It also places additional sanctions on the Chechen leader, who has been under U.S. sanctions since December 2017. (file photo)
The U.S. Treasury Department on September 15 added top Russian finance officials, relatives of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and a Russian children's rights official who allegedly directs the removal of Ukrainian children to Russia to its sanctions blacklist.
The new sanctions target 22 individuals and two entities that the Treasury Department said advanced Moscow's objectives in Ukraine before and after Russia launched the invasion of its neighbor.
The list includes three of Kadyrov's wives and three of his adult daughters. It also places additional sanctions on the Chechen leader, who has been under U.S. sanctions since December 2017.
Kadyrov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general for his role in Russia's war against Ukraine launched in February, the Treasury Department said, adding that Chechen units allied to Kadyrov have operated in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv where Russia’s troops committed atrocities and destroyed homes.
"Kadyrov has recruited for Russia's war efforts through mixed martial arts clubs, which enables him and his units to continue their activity in Ukraine," the department said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement that as Ukraine “presses forward with defending its freedom," the U.S. government is "taking steps to further degrade Russia's ability to rebuild its military, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and further financially isolate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."
The new sanctions took aim at the heads of key Russian financial institutions, including the National Payment Card System (NSPK), which runs the Mir payment network; the National Settlement Depository; the Non-Bank Credit Organization Central Counterparty National Clearing Center (CCP NCC), which manages settlement for the Moscow stock exchange; and the Deposit Insurance Agency.
The treasury also blacklisted Maria Alexeyevna Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children's rights.
Working directly under Putin, the Treasury Department said, Lvova-Belova has overseen the deportation of "thousands" of Ukrainian children to Russia.
"Lvova-Belova's efforts specifically include the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called 'patriotic education' of Ukrainian children, legislative changes to expedite the provision of Russian Federation citizenship to Ukrainian children, and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children by Russia's forces," it said.
The treasury also designated Task Force Rusich, which it described as a neo-Nazi paramilitary group fighting in Ukraine, including near Kharkiv, and associated with the Vagner mercenary group controlled by close Putin associate Yevgeny Prigozhin.
"Rusich has a long history of fighting alongside Russia-backed proxies in the Donbas region of Ukraine, and in 2015, Rusich mercenaries were accused of, and filmed, committing atrocities against deceased and captured Ukrainian soldiers,” the department said.
It said Rusich is led by Alexey Yurevich Milchakov and Yan Igorevich Petrovskiy.
“Milchakov, who has developed a reputation for extreme brutality, was wounded in Rusich’s initial combat near Kharkiv, Ukraine in 2022,” Treasury said.
Petrovskiy, who was expelled from Norway in 2016 after being declared a threat to national security, is Rusich’s lead military trainer and replaced Milchakov as commander after his injury, the department said.
U.S. Treasury sanctions freeze any assets those designated might have under U.S. jurisdiction and forbid any U.S. individuals or companies -- including international banks with U.S. operations -- from doing business with them.
In a parallel move, the U.S. Commerce Department banned the export of quantum computing services, hardware, and software to Russia and Belarus. The Treasury Department said the move would degrade Moscow's ability to rebuild its military after heavy losses in its ongoing war in Ukraine.