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U.S. targets Russia's 'war machine' with sweeping punitive measures

Priest Andrii Gavalin presides over the funeral of Eugene Bogdanov, 35, in Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10. Bogdanov went missing two months ago. His wife, Natalia Bogdanova, was searching for him throughout the Kyiv and Bucha regions when his body was found at a morgue in Belaya Tserkov on May 9. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- The United States on Tuesday unveiled sweeping punitive measures targeting what it called "Russia's war machine" over its invasion of Ukraine.

Dozens of defense-related industries, Russian military units, hundreds of Russian military officers, Russian gold exports and defense firm Rostec as well as its key holdings, affiliated entities, its board of directors and their family members, were blacklisted by the U.S. departments of Treasury and State on Tuesday.

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The sweeping regulations are the latest the United States has imposed against Russia since its president, Vladimir Putin, launched a war against his Eastern European neighbor Feb. 24, drawing the condemnation of the democratic world.

They also come as President Joe Biden wrapped up a trip to Germany where he promised alongside other G7 leaders to continue support for Ukraine in its fight.

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In a statement Tuesday, the Treasury said it sanctioned 70 entities, many of which it described as critical to Russia's defense industrial base, including State Corporation Rostec, "the cornerstone of Russia's defense, industrial, technology and manufacturing sector."

"Broad multilateral commitments and actions by G7 members this week further cut off the Russian Federation's access to technology that is critical to their military," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said. "Targeting Russia's defense industry will degrade Putin's capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains and logistical failures."

The Treasury also announced an expected ban on the importation of Russia-origin gold into the United States. Britain had previously announced that the United States, Britain, Canada and Japan had agreed to cut off imports of Moscow's largest non-energy revenue source at about $15.47 billion last year.

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In a coordinated move, the State Department said it designated 45 defense-related entities that are part of Russia's "appalling campaign of violence against the people of Ukraine."

Along with the Treasury's blacklisting of Rostec, the State Department designated 19 of its board of directors and nine of their spouses and adult children.

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It also said it was designating Uzbekistan-based Promcomplektlogistic Private Company for supporting Radioavtomatika, an entity that specializes in procuring foreign items for Russia's defense industry and which was sanctioned in an earlier sweeping round of punitive measures in March.

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Three military units were also designated over their alleged involvement in Bucha, a city where hundreds of Ukrainian citizens were brutally killed by retreating Russian forces and which has become a symbol of the brutality of Russia's war.

"Images of dead civilians lining Yablunska Street are seared into our global memory and will not be forgotten," the State Department said, referring to a street in Bucha.

The 76th Guards Air Assault Division has been "directly implicated in violence against unarmed civilians in Bucha" while the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade has been called "the butchers of Bucha," the State Department said.

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"This unit killed numerous civilians, detained civilians, beat detained civilians, conducted mock executions of civilians, dismembered civilians, including removing parts of their scalps and removing their limbs, burned civilians and seized and damaged civilian homes and property," it said

The 234th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment, which was stationed on Yablunska Street, has also been connected to the deaths of Ukrainians and has been implicated in the destruction of homes in the ravaged city.

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Halyna Danylchenko, the Russia-installed mayor of Melitopol city, was also designed by the State Department, which imposed visa restrictions against 511 Russian military officers and 18 Russian nationals.

Meanwhile, Biden issued a proclamation to raise tariffs on more than 570 groups of Russian products valued at about $2.3 billion to Moscow's economy.

"Targeting enablers of President Putin's war impedes Russia's present and future war effort," State Secretary Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The United States and its allies have repeatedly imposed punitive measures against Russia over its war, which have seemingly been taking a toll on its economy as Moscow defaulted on its international debt for the first time in a century on Monday.

Meanwhile, Russia imposed visa restrictions earlier Tuesday against first lady Jill Biden and her daughter with the president, Ashely Biden, as well as 23 other American citizens for "formulating the Russophobic policy ... which drafts recommendations concerning anti-Russia restrictions."

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