The US and EU this week ratcheted up the pressure on Russia over the crisis in Crimea by imposing sanctions on leading figures close to President Vladimir Putin.
Second US list, published Thursday, March 20
Of the latest list, eight individuals were already included on the EU’s list of targets, with the remaining 12 and the financial institution listed below.
1. Sergei Ivanov: An urbane, fluent English-speaking former KGB general, Ivanov is a long-time friend of Mr Putin. Both are 61 and from St Petersburg; both attended Leningrad State University, and later studied at an elite KGB spy school outside Moscow. Mr Ivanov says, however, he only got to know Mr Putin at the Leningrad KGB in the late 1970s. Unlike Mr Putin, who was posted only as far as Dresden, Ivanov was posted beyond the Soviet bloc, to embassies in Helsinki and Nairobi. Under Mr Putin he has been defence minister, then deputy prime minister who vied with Dmitry Medvedev to succeed Mr Putin as president in 2008. Since Mr Putin returned to the presidency, Mr Ivanov has been his chief of staff, seen as influential in the siloviki, the faction of hardline former security and military people around the president.
2. Gennady Timchenko: He was until this week the main owner of Gunvor, an oil trading company that has risen from niche operator to the world’s fourth-biggest in the past decade or so, and diversified into natural gas through a big stake in Novatek, an independent gas producer. Co-founder of a judo club with Mr Putin in the 1990s, Mr Timchenko has acknowledged being an acquaintance, but has long denied that his business success had anything to do with that. The US alleged on Thursday that “Putin has investments in Gunvor and may have access to Gunvor funds”. Gunvor responded: “Gunvor categorically denies that Vladimir Putin has or has ever had any ownership or that he is a beneficiary of our business directly or indirectly. That understanding is fundamentally misinformed and outrageous.”
3. Vladimir Yakunin: Together with Yuri Kovalchuk and Andrei Fursenko, both also on the latest US sanctions list, and Mr Putin, Mr Yakunin was a member of the lakeside dacha enclave, called Ozero, outside St Petersburg in the 1990s. As a senior Soviet diplomat at the UN in 1985-91, he has long been rumoured to have KGB links. Vladimir Yakunin became head of Russian Railways, a company created out of the old railway ministry, in 2005. A leading conservative, also seen as part of the hardline siloviki group, he was a subject of an investigation by Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader and anti-fraud campaigner, last year, which alleged he had a string of properties and considerable wealth – which Mr Yakunin denied. “I have nothing apart from a feeling of satisfaction [from being in the list],” Mr Yakunin told the FT. “I did not intend to travel to the US. I have no assets. So it does not bother me at all.”
4. Yuri Kovalchuk: Another member of the Ozero dacha enclave with Mr Putin, Mr Kovalchuk, a former scientist, went on to become the largest shareholder in Bank Rossiya, established in St Petersburg in 1990 to manage Communist party funds. The bank has long been associated with people close to the Russian president; imposing sanctions on the bank on Thursday, the US called it a “personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation”. The US noted that Mr Kovalchuk had been referred to as one of Mr Putin’s “cashiers”. As well as his banking activities, Mr Kovalchuk exerts influence over the media with stakes in six federal TV channels.
5. Sergei Naryshkin: Speaker of the lower house since December 2011, a member of the National Security Council and also of the United Russia party.
6. Victor Ivanov: Another former career KGB officer who became deputy director of the Federal Security Service, Mr Ivanov served alongside Mr Putin as chief of staff of the St Petersburg mayor’s office in 1994, when Mr Putin was first deputy head of the city administration. After Mr Putin moved to the Kremlin, in the president’s second term Mr Ivanov became a deputy head of the presidential administration and chairman of both Aeroflot, the state airline, and Almaz-Antey, a supplier of air defence systems that is one of the biggest elements of Russia’s military-industrial complex. Since 2008, Mr Ivanov has been director of the Federal Drug Control Service, and a member of Russia’s Security Council.
7. Igor Sergun: Head of Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU) and deputy chief of general staff.
8. Alexei Gromov: A former official in the Soviet and then Russian foreign ministry, Mr Gromov worked as a diplomat in Czechoslovakia and later Slovakia. From 2000, he was for eight years Mr Putin’s Kremlin press secretary, marshalling members of the Kremlin press pool. He has since risen to become first deputy chief of staff.
9. Andrei Fursenko: Another member of the Ozero dacha enclave in the 1990s, Mr Fursenko got to know Mr Putin in the St Petersburg mayor’s office. A former scientist, after Mr Putin arrived in the Kremlin Mr Fursenko became deputy industry minister, then industry minister, and for eight years, until 2012, education minister. He has since been a presidential aide.
10. Vladimir Kozhin: As head of the Presidential Property Department at the Kremlin since 2000, the US Treasury says Mr Kozhin is responsible for “overseeing a staff of 60,000 over a hundred enterprises and institutions including the Kremlin and several other government buildings, and over four thousand vehicles”. Originally a businessman in Chelyabinsk, in the Urals, he appears to have got to know Mr Putin in St Petersburg in the 1990s, when he was director-general of the St Petersburg Association of Joint Ventures.
11. Arkady Rotenberg and 12. Boris Rotenberg: The brothers are both former judo partners of Vladimir Putin and have emerged in recent years as prominent businessmen. Arkady Rotenberg once told the FT he had known Mr Putin since they were boys “running around on the streets”. In little over five years, Arkady Rotenberg’s business empire has expanded to span gas pipeline construction, pipe supplies, road construction and banking – but he insists this has nothing to do with his friendship with the president. The gas pipeline construction company Arkady Rotenberg created in 2008, Stroigazmontazh, acquired five Gazprom contractors to become one of the biggest construction contractors in the Russian energy business. The US Treasury said the brothers had “made billions of dollars in contracts for Gazprom and the Sochi Winter Olympics awarded to them by Putin”. Arkady Rotenberg is president of Dynamo Moscow hockey club, with his wealth estimated by Forbes this month at $4bn.
13. Bank Rossiya: Described by the Treasury as “the personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation”.
First US list published on Monday, March 17
Below is the initial list that the US issued on Monday, which included former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich and Crimea’s recently-appointed Pro-Russian prime minister.
1. Andrei Klishas: While not one of the best-known names on the sanctions list, Andrei Klishas – who is on both the US and European sanctions list – may end up having the most to lose. A long-time business partner of oligarch Vladimir Potanin, Mr Klishas, 41, was previously president of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel producer until becoming a member of the federation council in 2012. Russian Forbes estimated his personal wealth at Rbs280.5m in 2013. During his business career, Mr Klishas had extensive ties to Cyprus where Interros is incorporated and where he helped organise the annual Cyprus-Russia charity gala and donated to the Cypriot Orthodox Church. It is not known whether he still has assets there, or in Switzerland, where Swiss newspapers allege he once owned a home. Mr Klishas was the lawmaker who this month proposed that Russia should confiscate the assets and bank accounts of US and European companies in Russia.
2. Leonid Slutsky: A member of Russia’s nationalist LDPR party, Leonid Slutsky, 46, has served in the Russian Duma since 1999 and is currently head of the committee on Eurasian integration. Mr Slutsky has a lower profile than most of the names on the list and is not believed to wield influence inside the Kremlin inner circle. Mr Slutsky was one of the first Russian politicians to visit Crimea after the new Kiev government took power. Two days after Mr Slutsky’s visit, the head of Crimea’s leading pro-Russia party was declared the peninsula’s new prime minister. His first order of business: a referendum on Crimea’s future.
3. Valentina Matviyenko: A native of St Petersburg, like Mr Putin, Valentina Matviyenko, 64, rose to the top of the city’s political elite, serving as St Petersburg governor from 2003-11. An ally of the president, she moved to Moscow to take over as head of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, which this month gave Mr Putin the authority to send troops into Ukraine. During Ms Matviyenko’s political career, her son Sergei has built a name for himself in business, amassing a fortune, according to Russian press reports.
4. Sergei Glaziev: A native of southeast Ukraine, Sergei Glaziev, 53, is another Russian nationalist who has found himself closer to the Kremlin’s inner circle during Mr Putin’s third term. A trained economist, Mr Glaziev became one of the president’s advisers on Eurasian integration in 2012. A year later he emerged as a contender to head Russia’s central bank, edged out at the last minute by Elvira Nabiullina, another ally of Mr Putin. During the crisis in Kiev, Mr Glaziev repeatedly called on Viktor Yanukovich to use force to crush the anti-government protests, while accusing the US of spending $20m a week financing the Kiev protest movement and supplying demonstrators with weapons.
5. Elena Mizulina: The main backer of Russia’s 2013 law against gay propaganda to minors, Elena Mizulina, 59, has emerged as the face of traditionalism and family values during Mr Putin’s more ideologically conservative third presidential term. Once a member for Russia’s liberal Yabloko party, she switched horses to become a lawmaker for one of the Kremlin friendly parties. Ms Mizulina was one of the Duma deputies to propose speeding up citizenship procedures for Ukrainians who wanted Russian passports.
6. Vladislav Surkov: One of the pre-eminent political minds of the Putin era, Vladislav Surkov is credited with helping design Russia’s tightly-managed political system – a model he called “sovereign democracy”. Nicknamed “the grey cardinal”, Mr Surkov, 49, was deputy chief off staff to Mr Putin during his first two presidential terms and retained the position under Dmitry Medvedev, now Russia’s prime minister. While Mr Surkov briefly left the government in 2013 after publicly criticising Russia’s investigative committee in a fiery speech at the London School of Economics, he was welcomed back into the fold a few months later as an adviser to Mr Putin on former Soviet states. Mr Surkov was spotted in Crimea in the weeks before the peninsula began agitating for secession.
7. Dmitry Rogozin: A self-proclaimed nationalist, Dmitry Rogozin returned to Moscow in 2011 after serving as Russia’s ambassador to Nato in Geneva for four years. Bombastic and sharp-tongued, Mr Rogozin, 50, is now Russia’s deputy prime minister in charge of defence industries, where he is helping implement a 10-year plan to increase military spending by $755bn. A Twitter aficionado, Mr Rogozin has thrown plenty of barbs at Nato during Russia’s diplomatic stand-off with the west over Crimea. On Monday he tweeted: “Comrade Obama what about those with no foreign accounts property? Or did you not think of that :) ?”
8. Vladimir Konstantinov: speaker of the Crimean parliament.
9. Viktor Medvedchuk: leader of Ukrainian Choice.
10. Viktor Yanukovich: former president of Ukraine.
11. Sergei Aksyonov: Recently appointed pro-Russian prime minister of Crimea.
EU list, published Monday, March 17
On Monday, the EU released its own list of 21 individuals who will be subject to sanctions for “undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
Four of the names also appear on the US list. They were Mr Aksyonov, prime minister of Crimea; Mr Konstantinov, Speaker of the Crimean parliament; Mr Klishas, member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; and Mr Slutsky, chairman of the Duma committee on CIS affairs. The others are:
1. Rustam Ilmirovich Temirgaliev: deputy chairman of Council of Ministers of Crimea.
2. Deniz Valentinovich Berezovskiy: commander of the Ukrainian Navy.
3. Aleksei Mikhailovich Chaliy: recently acclaimed mayor of Sevastopol.
4. Pyotr Anatoliyovych Zima: head of the Crimean security service.
5. Yuriy Zherebtsov: counsellor of the Speaker of Crimean parliament.
6. Sergey Pavlovych Tsekov: vice-speaker of Crimean parliament.
7. Viktor Alekseevich Ozerov: chairman of security and defence committee of Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
8. Vladimir Michailovich Dzhabarov: first deputy-chairman of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
9. Nikolai Ivanovich Ryzhkov: member of committee for federal issues, regional politics and the north of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
10. Evgeni Viktorovich Bushmin: deputy speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
11. Aleksandr Borisovich Totoonov: member of the committee on culture, science, and information of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
12. Oleg Evgenevich Panteleev: first deputy chairman of the committee on parliamentary issues.
13. Sergei Mikhailovich Mironov: a longtime Putin loyalist, Mr Mironov is yet another of the top rank of Russian politicians who worked with the future Russian president in St Petersburg, where in 1994 he was elected as a deputy of the city legislative assembly. In December 2001, he became speaker of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament. As a candidate in the 2004 presidential election, where he polled less than 1 per cent, Mr Mironov was quoted as saying “We all want Vladimir Putin to be the next president”. From 2006, he has been leader of a Kremlin-created left-leaning political party, Just Russia. He stood again in the 2012 presidential election, winning 3.86 per cent of votes.
14. Sergei Vladimirovich Zheleznyak: deputy speaker of State Duma of Russian Federation.
15. Aleksandr Viktorovich Vitko: commander of the Black Sea Fleet and vice-admiral.
16. Anatoliy Alekseevich Sidorov: commander of Russia’s western military district.
17. Aleksandr Galkin: commander of Russia’s southern military district.
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