US targets 150 entities with new Russia sanctions

The Treasury Department is seen in Washington, Jan. 18, 2023. [AP Photo]

The U.S. on Thursday sanctioned more than 150 businesses and individuals in Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Georgia to try to crack down on evasion of trade restrictions aimed at blocking funding for Russia’s 19-month war against Ukraine.

The newest sanctions package is one of the biggest imposed by the State Department and the U.S. Treasury. It targets those who are selling Western technology to Moscow to aid its war effort, particularly businesses and people in Turkey, a member of the Western military pact that is allied in support of Ukraine.

The sanctions, which block any assets the businesses and individuals might have in the U.S., are also aimed at hobbling the development of Russia’s energy sector that provides war funding, including Arctic natural gas projects, along with mining and factories producing and repairing Russian weapons.

In addition, the U.S. package targets several Turkish and Russian companies that the State Department says help Moscow source U.S. and European electronic components — such as computer chips and processors — that can be used in civilian and military equipment.

The State Department also is targeting Turkish companies that have provided ship repair services to a company affiliated with Russia's Defense Ministry.

Before the war, James O'Brien of the State Department’s sanctions coordination office said that Russia imported up to 90% of its electronics from countries that are part of the Group of 7 wealthy democracies, but sanctions have dropped that figure closer to 30%.

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On the battlefield, Ukraine’s military said it shot down 17 of the 22 drones that Russia used to target multiple areas of Ukraine in overnight attacks.

The Ukrainian military said Russia launched several waves of attacks directed at the Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor of Dnipropetrovsk, said wreckage from one of three drones downed over the region damaged buildings and cars and started a grass fire.

Lysak said Russian shelling also struck the region, but that there were no casualties reported.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its air defenses shot down multiple Ukrainian drones over the Bryansk region of western Russia early Thursday.

Russia also said it repelled an attack on a patrol ship in the Black Sea, with Russian forces destroying five unmanned boats.

Over Russian-controlled Crimea, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram it destroyed 11 Ukrainian drones.

That came a day after a Ukrainian missile hit a strategic shipyard in Crimea, wounding 24 people and damaging two ships that were undergoing repairs.