New US sanctions target more in Putin’s power structure

WASHINGTON (AP) — New U.S. sanctions Tuesday targeted more individuals in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power structure, including senior Russian military officials and the leader of Kremlin-allied Belarus.

A judge and an investigator in Russia’s prosecution of two outspoken critics of alleged corruption and rights abuses are also a focus of the sanctions.

Some of the new sanctions were brought under the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 act of Congress that authorizes sanctions against those engaged in human rights abuses.

Tuesday’s sanctions show the U.S. going after more individual officials after laying down some of the toughest sanctions of modern times against Russian institutions and top figures over Putin’s nearly 3-week-old invasion of Ukraine.

“Today’s designations demonstrate the United States will continue to impose concrete and significant consequences for those who engage in corruption or are connected to gross violations of human rights,” a Treasury official, Andrea Gacki, said in a statement.

That includes newly announced sanctions against Natalia Mushnikova, a Moscow judge in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption whistleblower for whom the act is named. Magnitksy died in pre-trial detention in 2009 after exposing an alleged tax-fraud scheme by Russian officials.

Also targeted is Nurid Salamov, a prosecuting investigator in Russia whom Treasury accuses of taking part in an allegedly trumped-up case against Oyub Titiev, of the rights group Memorial.

Tuesday’s sanctions also add to sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko, the longtime leader of Belarus, who is allowing Putin to use his country as a staging ground for attacks on Ukraine. They newly sanction Halina Lukashenko, wife of the Belarus leader. And other new sanctions target eight deputy Russian defense ministers and other senior military officials.

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