Putin’s daughters face possible EU, US sanctions over Ukraine invasion

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The European Union has proposed sanctioning two daughters of President Vladimir Putin, according to diplomats familiar with the plan, a move that would add the Russian leader’s closest family members to a growing list of individuals sanctioned in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Biden administration is expected to announce sanctions on Mr. Putin’s daughters this week, U.S. officials said.

EU member states still must approve the sanctions, which are among dozens of newly proposed, targeted travel bans and asset freezes against Russian business people, politicians, officials and their families. EU officials announced details of other new sanctions earlier Tuesday. They include a ban on imports of Russian coal, slashing the access of Russian road carriers and ships into the bloc, restrictions aimed at oligarchs and their families, and the blocking of some high-technology machinery exports.

Mr. Putin doesn’t speak publicly about his family. He has two daughters with his former wife, Lyudmila Putina, according to the Kremlin. It isn’t known if Mr. Putin has other children, and it couldn’t be learned if the daughters being targeted in the EU sanctions were those he has publicly acknowledged.

In 2013, the couple said their marriage was over. The following year, the Kremlin confirmed that the Russian president had finalized the divorce of his wife of nearly 30 years. The Kremlin didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the EU sanction plans.

The president’s personal life is generally shrouded in secrecy. His separation in 2013 from his wife, a former stewardess for Russia’s national carrier Aeroflot, came in a surprise announcement in a brief appearance after a performance of the ballet “La Esmeralda” at the Kremlin theater. It set the stage for the first divorce, the following year, of a Russian leader since Peter the Great and ended years of speculation about the state of the couple’s union. Mr. Putin described the end of the marriage as a “joint decision.”

The couple’s daughters have largely kept out of public view, to such an extent that many Russians don’t know what they look like.

In 2020, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Mr. Putin doesn’t pay attention to various publications about his private life and his state of health. The Russian president usually explains his reluctance to talk about his personal life “as a matter of security and a desire to remain anonymous for his loved ones so they can live a normal life,” Russia’s state news agency, TASS reported that year.

 

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