The Russian government announced sanctions against 13 Americans on Tuesday in response to sanctions that the U.S. and the West have placed on Russians in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine late last month.
“In response to a series of unprecedented sanctions banning, among other things, entry into the United States for top officials of the Russian Federation, from March 15 of this year, President J Biden is included in the Russian ‘stop-list’ on the basis of mutual reciprocity,” Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Biden, Secretary of State A Blinken, Minister of Defense L Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff M Milly, as well as a number of department heads and other American leaders.”
The sanctions were an “inevitable consequence of the extremely Russophobic course taken by the current US Administration, which, in a desperate attempt to maintain American hegemony, has relied, discarding all decency, on the frontal constricting of Russia,” the statement claimed. “At the same time, we do not refuse to maintain official relations if they meet our national interests, and, if necessary, we will solve problems arising from the status of persons who appear on the ‘black list’ in order to organize high-level contacts.”
Those sanctioned included:
- US President Joe Biden
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley
- National Security Adviser Jacob Sullivan
- CIA Director William Burns
- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
- Daleep Singh, Biden’s deputy national security adviser for international economics
- United States Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power
- President Biden’s son Hunter Biden
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo
- Reta Jo Lewis, president and chairman of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank
The sanctions against the U.S. officials comes as the war in Ukraine has been going on for nearly a month and some experts believe that Russia is potentially running out of the steam that it needs to take over the country.
“The Russians went after his [Fmr. Amb. to NATO Kurt Volker’s] training center in Yavoriv, outside the city of Lviv, partly to demonstrate that they could reach the lines of communication that bring supplies and support from Poland into Ukraine,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said. “But also I think to maybe go after the logistics buildup that’s happening there. I don’t think we should overreact to this.”
“The Russians, I think, are about ten days away from what is called the culminating point, when they just no longer have the ammunition nor the manpower to keep up their assault,” he said. “I think we keep pouring it on, and the Russians culminate.”
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This report has been updated to include additional information.