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The U.S. on Monday sanctioned Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov, Military Technical Cooperation Director Dmitry Shugaev, and Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev, along with eight deputy defense ministers, over the situation in Ukraine, TURAN’s Washington correspondent reports.

The sanctioned deputy defense ministers on the list include Aleksey Krivoruchko, Timur Ivanov, Yunus-bek Evkurov, Dmitry Bulgakov, Yuriy Sadovenko, Nikolay Pankov, Ruslan Tsalikov, and Gennady Zhidko.

“The world has watched in horror as Russia has perpetrated a premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine. Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread human suffering and casualties, including the deaths of innocent civilians, including children” the State Department said in a press release.

“These persons will be added to the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons and all property and interests in property of the individuals above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked… In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.”

All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

The move comes just a day after long-range Russian airstrikes hit the city of Yavoriv in western Ukraine, less than 15 miles from the Polish border — which is NATO territory. The location is where National Guard troops from Florida just weeks ago trained alongside Ukrainian troops — though Americans are no longer at the location, TURAN's correspondent was informed by the Pentagon.

"It's just one set of several strikes by the Russians that recently hit western Ukraine", Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters during a briefing on Monday, and illustrates an effort by the Russians to expand their target set in the country.

“If the Russian president hoped the specific targets or the war itself is meant to send a message to NATO about the size of or strength of the alliance, then the war is a failure,” Kirby said. 

Putin is “getting exactly what he says he doesn't want: a strong, united NATO on his western flank," Kirby added. "Just over the last few days, we moved some Patriot batteries from Germany to Poland. And we're going to continue to look at potential repositioning if we need to, to defend NATO's eastern flank.

So far, Kirby said, Putin's war in Ukraine has killed thousands, displaced many, many more and destroyed homes and other property. 

"He clearly has more than a message in mind here," Kirby said. "He clearly has the occupation of Ukraine in mind ... I want to be careful here that we're not reducing the kind of damage and death he's causing to some sort of message signaling. I think that's being way too generous to what the Kremlin's trying to do inside Ukraine." 

Over the weekend, an additional "drawdown" package of security assistance, worth $200 million, was authorized by President Biden for Ukraine. 

A "drawdown," according to documentation available from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, allows the president to withdraw weapons, ammunition and material from existing U.S. military stocks and provide that to other nations.  

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.


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