The U.S. Department of the Treasury has expanded the so-called Kremlin List of Russian oligarchs and close confidants of Russian President Vladimir Putin to include the names of separatist representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), as reported by Radio Liberty.
According to the report, the list was expanded to include nine ministers and one deputy minister of the separatist-held Donetsk and Luhansk regions as well a former Luhansk official and his family member.
In particular, designated on the list were the Minister of Revenues and Duties of the DPR, Aleksandr Timofeyev (nicknamed Tashkent), the Deputy Information Minister of the DPR, Igor Antipov, the Minister of Fuel and Energy of the DPR, Aleksey Granovsky, the Foreign Minister of the DPR, Natalia Nikonorova, the Minister of Finance of the DPR’ Yekaterina Matiushenko, the Minister of State Security of the DPR, Vladimir Pavlenko, the Acting Minister of Justice of the DPR, Yelena Radomskaya, the Minister of Fuel of the LPR, Pavel Malgin, the Minister of Economy of the LPR, Yelena Kostenko, the Minister of Labor of the LPR, Svetlana Malakhova, the former Minister of Fuel and Energy of the LPR, Aleksandr Melnichuk, and businessman, Sergey Melnichuk.
The most prominent figure on this list is Timofeyev who is deemed to be one of the main power brokers in the DPR. While on the air of one of the separatist TV-channels, he announced new trade relations with countries from Europe and across the world. “We trade not only with China. There are other countries: Italy, Spain and France,” he boasted.
“Tashkent” is considered to be the top gangster boss for local businesses. Last fall he reportedly was assassinated but came out safe and sound. Now he is a non-grata figure in the West.
Militant leaders and operatives of local security structures were under American and western sanctions before. However, not all of them have accounts abroad or hope to obtain an American visa, many of them serve just as cover-ups for shady business dealings. This is why the enhanced Kremlin List sanctioned those particular persons in charge of finances and strategic resources (coal, fuel and electric energy) of the LPR/DPR.
The enhanced sanctions list also designated the former Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy of the LPR, Melnichuk, who is invisible to the public, but carries a lot of clout. He established illegal schemes on coal supplies from the occupied Donbas to EU countries later uncovered by Polish journalists.
As was reported earlier, on January 30th, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a declassified part of the Kremlin Report - a list which designated 114 names of high-ranking officials and 96 oligarchs whom the U.S. authorities considered to have close ties to Putin. It is expected that the declassified part will be followed by actual sanctions against the designated individuals. It was estimated that the persons targeted by the Kremlin List in one day lost USD 1.1 billion after their names were revealed.