The Russia-Ukraine War: Latest News and Live Updates


The U.S. Justice Department launched a new task force Wednesday to hunt down and seize the luxury real estate, private jets, yachts and other assets of Russian oligarchs stashed around the globe, part of an international effort aimed at punishing Russia for its Ukraine invasion.

Part of the Western allies’ pressure campaign includes sanctioning the oligarchs that help Russian President Vladimir Putin maintain power.

“To those bolstering the Russian regime through corruption and sanctions evasion: We will deprive you of safe haven and hold you accountable,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, whose office will run Task Force KleptoCapture.

“Oligarchs be warned: We will use every tool to freeze and seize your criminal proceeds,” Ms. Monaco said. The move, initially announced by President Biden during his State of the Union address, is part of an international collaboration with allies.

“We will convene an international Task Force with our justice ministries to freeze and seize the assets of key Russian elites,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Wednesday after a virtual meeting of the Group of Seven largest advanced economies. That effort will “inflict financial pain on the powerful individuals surrounding Putin and make clear that no one is beyond our collective reach.”

The U.S. team, which includes representatives from a number of federal law enforcement agencies, will aim to enforce sweeping sanctions, export restrictions and other economic measures being levied as officials step up pressure on Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. and its European allies have been escalating sanctions against Russian elites, including Mr. Putin.

The Justice Department said the unit would seek to prosecute sanctions violators; target the use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions; fight illegal efforts to undermine restrictions taken against Russian banks; and will begin criminal cases or use civil forfeiture laws to seize property, including personal real estate, financial, and commercial assets.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.



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