President Biden Announces New Round of Over 500 Sanctions Targeting Russia in Response to the Ukraine War and Death of Navalny

By: Alex Trent | Published: Feb 23, 2024

Joe Biden’s White House is imposing a new round of sanctions focused on crippling Russia’s financial infrastructure. The new sanctions have over 500 targets that the White House says are funding the Russian war machine in Ukraine.

These sanctions come as a response to continued Russian hostility in Ukraine and in the wake of the death of a long-time critic of Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Statement from Joe Biden

A statement released by The White House affirmed how these sanctions coincide with the two-year anniversary of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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An official photo of Joe Biden from 2021.

The White House/Wikimedia

“Two years ago tomorrow, shortly before dawn, Russian missiles began exploding near the capital city of Kyiv. Russian troops marched across the border into Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s vicious onslaught against Ukraine had begun,” the statement said.

Brutal Assault

The White House called Russia’s actions in the Ukraine war a “brutal assault” and rebuked the Kremlin for threatening global security.

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A photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting in a chair.

Source: Palácio do Planalto/Wikimedia

“He [Putin] believed that he could easily bend the will and break the resolve of a free people. That he could roll into a sovereign nation, and the world would roll over. That he could shake the foundations of security in Europe and beyond.” (via The White House)

New Sanctions

The statement from The White House announced new sanctions against Russian targets, asserting their motivation being the war in Ukraine and the death of Aleksey Navalny.

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President Joe Biden speaking into a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

“Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksey Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader.”

Who Was Aleksey Navalny?

Aleksey Navalny was an opposition leader and a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government. He was trained as a lawyer and rose to fame for his anti-corruption efforts in Russia.

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Alexei Navalny, political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: Evgeny Feldman/Wikimedia

NPR reported last week that Navalny died in a remote Russian prison serving a sentence for charges of extremism. Many saw the jailing of Navalny as political persecution for his defiant long-time opposition to Putin.

Targeting Individuals

Joe Biden in his statement laid out the goal of the sanctions and the industries he hopes to target.

A Russian solider standing while a military parade drives by.

Source: Vyacheslav Argenberg/Wikimedia

“These sanctions will target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment as well as Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks, and sanctions evaders across multiple continents. They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.” (via The White House)

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Export Restrictions

In addition to the individual sanction targets, Biden also announced new export restrictions with Russia.

An overhead shot of a dense arrangement of colorful shipping containers at a terminal. The containers are neatly stacked in rows

Source: CHUTTERSNAP/Unsplash

“We are also imposing new export restrictions on nearly 100 entities for providing backdoor support for Russia’s war machine. We are taking action to further reduce Russia’s energy revenues. And I’ve directed my team to strengthen support for civil society, independent media, and those who fight for democracy around the world,” The White House statement said.

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Ukraine Struggling in the War

The White House statement spells out the concerns for Ukraine which continues to hold out against the much larger Russian state.

An Ukrainian solider holds a rifle in front of an armored vehicle.

Source: Walter Van Ochten/Wikimedia

“Two years into this war, the people of Ukraine continue to fight with tremendous courage. But they are running out of ammunition. Ukraine needs more supplies from the United States to hold the line against Russia’s relentless attacks, which are enabled by arms and ammunition from Iran and North Korea.”

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Biden Calls for Bipartisan Aid for Ukraine

In the statement, Biden asks the House of Representatives to help pass the security measure being worked on to provide more relief for Ukraine “before it’s too late.”

President Joe Biden sitting at a desk signing a document.

The White House/Wikimedia Commons

“This bill provides urgent funding for Ukraine. It also invests in America’s own defense industrial base. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, and there is no question that, if the Speaker called a vote, it would pass quickly in the House.”

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Largest Sanctions Since the Start of the War

NPR reported on Treasury Department comments calling the measures the largest sanctions enacted since February 2022. In remarks responding to the hostilities during the time, Biden accused Russia of carrying out an unprovoking, premeditated attack.

A media event for the Biden-Harris campaign.

Manny Becerra/Unsplash

“This is a premeditated attack.  Vladimir Putin has been planning this for months, as I’ve been — as we’ve been saying all along.  He moved more than 175,000 troops, and military equipment into positions along the Ukrainian border,” Biden said.

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Holding Russia Accountable

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo discussed the sanctions with journalists, emphasizing that these measures are aimed at holding Russia and its military accountable.

Russian soldiers tand at the Rzhev Memorial

Source: Администрация Президента России/Wikimedia

“There are some companies out there in these third countries that are wittingly providing resource and material support to Russia’s military industrialized complex,” he said. “We’re going to hold them accountable.” (via NPR)

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History is Watching

Biden concluded The White House announcement by making a rhetorical plea for the audience watching in America and across the world.

Protestors holding a sign protesting the Ukraine War in Belgrade.

Source: SergioOren/Wikimedia

“History is watching. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will not be forgotten. Now is the time for us to stand strong with Ukraine and stand united with our Allies and partners. Now is the time to prove that the United States stands up for freedom and bows down to no one.”

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