US targets Putin's daughters with sanctions after evidence of atrocities in Ukraine surfaces

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President Biden announced sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters Wednesday as part of punishments related to alleged war crimes in Ukraine. 

The sanctions will hit Mariya Putina and Katerina Tinkonova, Putin’s two adult daughters, as well as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin; the wife and children of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; and members of Russia’s Security Council, including former president and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. 

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The penalties cut off all of Putin’s family members from U.S. financial systems and freezes any assets they hold in America. 

“I made clear that Russia would pay a severe and immediate price for its atrocities in Bucha,” Biden said in a tweet. He predicted the sanctions would wipe out 15 years of economic gains in Russia. 

The sanctions will hit a much-recovered Russian economy, which will test the country’s seemingly newfound stability. 

The ruble has recovered some of its lost value, with $1 equal to around 84 RUB as of Wednesday. The exchange rate prior to the invasion saw $1 equal to roughly 83.53 RUB, with the peak at around 139 RUB.

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Initial panic following the implementation of sanctions led to Russian citizens trying to pull their money from the bank, which forced banks to then borrow heavily from the Bank of Russia to meet demand.

The Wall Street Journal argued that strict limits from Russia’s Central Bank on currency exchange, withdrawals and hard-currency transfers helped to rein in the wild fluctuations that initially spooked officials into shutting down trading on the Moscow Exchange for almost a month. 

But some experts question the long-term strength of Russia’s recovery. 

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“I think it’s just part of the process … I don’t think this is any meaningful recovery, it’s an ongoing process,” Andrew Kim, a research fellow in economic freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told FOX Business. “What’s more important and more critical is the next step.”

The U.K. also announced a heavy raft of new sanctions, including an asset freeze for two major banks, a ban on British investment in Russia and a pledge to end dependency on Russian energy resources by yearend. 

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The European Union also indicated that it will announce new bans on investment and an energy embargo following evidence of atrocities in Ukraine that emerged following Russia’s retreat from the town of Bucha. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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