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Meet the 11 Russians and Ukrainians That the U.S. Is Sanctioning

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Monday morning, President Obama signed an executive order expanding U.S. sanctions on Russia that specifically targets seven Russian officials with close ties to the Kremlin, as well as ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, another Ukrainian politician, and two Crimean leaders. Expanding on an executive order signed on March 6, the latest order blocks the property and "interests in property" of eleven individuals in total, all of whom are also banned from entering the U.S. A White House statement suggests that more people—but not the companies they control—will be subject to sanctions: "The United States also will seek to hold accountable individuals who use their resources or influence to support or act on behalf of senior Russian government officials... Our current focus is to identify these individuals and target their personal assets, but not companies that they may manage on behalf of the Russian state."

Here are the first 11 of those individuals:

Vladislav Surkov


The "chief ideologist" of the Kremlin, Surkov, 49, is "seen both as the architect and the symbol of Russia’s return to authoritarianism," as Vladimir Kara-Murza writes in his profile of the former deputy prime minister. Surkov masterminded Putin's political strategy for over a decade (he coined the term "sovereign democracy"), but was forced to resign last May after he failed to anticipate the mass protests that overtook Moscow in 2011 and 2012. In September, Putin reappointed Surkov as a presidential aide. 

Sergey Glazyev

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Presidential Adviser to Putin, Glazyev called for the use of force to quash protests on Kiev's Maidan Square early last month. An economist by trade, Putin appointed Glazyev in 2012 with the special task of developing the Customs Union, which means that much of his job had to be devoted to trying to get Ukraine to join the trade group. 

Leonid Slutsky

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A State Duma deputy, Slutsky is chairman of the Duma's committee on the "Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots." Last week, Slutsky told Echo Moskvy that Russia's invasion of Crimea "is not a large-scale military operation." 

Andrei Klishas

Parlamentskaya Gazeta/Wikimedia Commons

Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society, Klishas, 41, is a Russian businessman and politician. He drafted legislation that would "seize property, assets and accounts of companies in the United States and the countries that adopt the sanctions against us," earlier this month in anticipation of impending foreign sanctions. "We are only suggesting that instead of threatening each other with sanctions we should together with our partners calmly read the Ukrainian Constitution and understand what has happened in this sovereign country,” he said, according to RT.

Valentina Matviyenko


Known as "Auntie Valya" in St. Petersburg, where she is the former governor, Matviyenko is the chair of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament. She is the highest-ranking female politician in Russia and met with Crimea's Vladimir Konstantinov (see below) last week to begin negotiating the process of annexation. "There is a real hysteria in some Western states as they claim that the referendum is illegal, that its results won't be accepted by the international community. To put it mildly, this is all untrue and misinformation,” Matviyenko said Friday of the Crimean referendum. 

Dmitry Rogozin


Russia's deputy prime minister, Rogozin, 50, was once Putin's NATO envoy. In response to increasing threats of sanctions last week, Rogozin said that they would only strengthen Russia's economy and hurt the U.S. and E.U. On Friday, he said that Russia would not retaliate with reciprocal sanctions, according to The Voice of Russia. "In conditions of economic crisis, pseudo muscle-flexing in the form of sanctions is very dangerous and even criminal, therefore it’s out of the question," he said. Here's what he had to say about today's executive order: 

Yelena Mizulina

Dmitry Rozhkov/Wikimedia Commons

"Putin's new morality crusader," Mizulina is chair of the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs. Critics call her "The Inquisitor," as she is the force behind Russia's discriminatory LGBT laws, including one that imposes heavy fines on anyone who promotes "nontraditional sexual relations," according to Radio Free Europe. 

Sergey Aksyonov


The Crimean Prime Minister comes from a family of Red Army officers and used to make a living as a black marketeer known as "the Goblin," TIME's Simon Shuster writes in his profile of Aksyonov. "Given the fact that he has never actually lived in Russia, Aksyonov’s affection for the country is remarkable." Aksyonov was relatively unknown in Ukraine just a month ago, and is largely perceived as a puppet of the Kremlin who was forcibly placed in power after unmarked armed men stormed the Crimean parliament building on February 27. 

Vladimir Konstantinov


Speaker of the Crimean Parliament, Konstatinov owes over $1 billion to Ukrainian banks, according to Ukrainska Pravda. He is being sanctioned "for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes." 

Viktor Medvedchuk Commons

Chairman of the pro-Russia party Ukrainian Choice, Medvedchuk has an estimated net worth of $800 million, and Putin is the godfather of his children. He has close ties to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and was "has long and unabashedly been Putin's personal agent for influencing the situation in Ukraine," according to The Moscow Times. Last fall, Medvedchuk compared the E.U. to the Third Reich in light of its attempts to absorb Ukraine. 

Viktor Yanukovych


The former Ukrainian president fled his country on February 22 in response to "what he called a violent coup," and has since appeared in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Yanukovych maintains that he is still the legitimate Ukrainian head of state, and is being sanctioned "for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine" by asking Putin to send forces into Crimea