Putin's daughters sanctioned in response to Bucha 'massacre'

6 April 2022, 15:50 | Updated: 6 April 2022, 17:06

Putin's daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Mariya Putina, have been sanctioned
Putin's daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Mariya Putina, have been sanctioned. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The US has sanctioned Putin's two adult daughters in response to "war crimes" carried out in Ukraine.

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It was revealed earlier on Wednesday that Katerina Tikhonova, 35, and Mariya Putina, 36, were on a draft list of targets for sanctions - but now the new penalties have been formally announced.

The country has also toughened sanctions on Russian banks Sberbank and Alfa Bank, meaning assets are prohibited from touching the US financial system and Americans are banned from doing business with the institutions.

The wife and children of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as members of Russia's security council including Dmitry Medvedev, have also been subjected to new sanctions.

The penalties cut all of Mr Putin's close family members off from the US financial system and freeze any assets they hold in the US.

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The UK has also announced new sanctions after photos suggested Russia had killed hundreds of civilians in towns on the outskirts of Kyiv.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) imposed an asset freeze on Russia's largest bank, banned outward investment in Vladimir Putin's country and will legislate to prohibit imports of iron and steel.

In addition, a further eight oligarchs have been sanctioned, including Andrey Guryev, a close associate of Putin, Andrey Akimov, the CEO of Russia's third largest bank Gazprombank, and Aleksander Dyukov, CEO of the majority-state owned oil producer GazpromNeft.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Government "will not rest until Ukraine prevails" and that the new sanctions would send a message to the Russian elite.

"Today, we are stepping up our campaign to bring Putin's appalling war to an end with some of our toughest sanctions yet," she said.

"Our latest wave of measures will bring an end to the UK's imports of Russian energy and sanction yet more individuals and businesses, decimating Putin’s war machine.

"Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin's orders.

"We will not rest until Ukraine prevails."

Ms Tikhonova and Ms Putina are both daughters of Putin and his ex-wife, Lyudmila Putina - now Lyudmila Ocheretnaya.

Ms Tikhonova, the eldest, is a scientist and former acrobatic dancer, who currently heads the Innopraktika company - a unity of two education initiatives in Moscow.

Ms Putina is a paediatric endocrinologist, reportedly living in the Russian capital.

Putin and Ms Ocheretnaya separated in 2014.

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It comes as evidence mounts that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine.

Photos from recently-liberated towns near Kyiv such as Bucha show the bodies of civilians lying in the streets, some with their hands tied.

Hundreds more were also discovered in mass graves.

Upon seeing the photos and visiting the town, Ukrainian President Zelenksyy accused Russia of "genocide".

And Mariupol - a port city that has been subject to near-constant Russian bombardment for the past six weeks - is the "new Auschwitz", according to the city's mayor.

Mariupol City Council said mobile crematoriums had been dispatched by Russia to dispose of the dead.

A week ago it was estimated that 5,000 civilians had been slaughtered in the city, but now the Council fear the number could be over 10,000 "given the size of the city, the catastrophic destruction, the duration of the blockade and the strong resistance, the victims".

In addition to this, it is estimated around 100,000 people are stuck in the city with little access to food and water.

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Mayor of Mariupol Vadim Boychenko said: "The world has not seen the scale of the tragedy in Mariupol since the existence of Nazis concentration camps.

"The Russians have turned our entire city into a death camp. Unfortunately, the creepy analogy is getting more and more confirmation.

"This is no longer Chechnya or Aleppo. This is the new Auschwitz and Majdanek."