31 Jul 2014
As conflict ensues in eastern Europe, the EU has put considerable pressure on Russia – imposing the toughest sanctions on the country since the Cold War. But who’s affected most by them? We examine five Russians whose activities will be limited most severely by the restrictions.
Arkady Romanovich Rotenberg
Putin’s former judo partner is perhaps the highest profile individual hit yet by EU sanctions. A high-ranking member of the president’s inner circle and a key recipient of various government contracts, one of Rotenberg’s companies recently conducted a feasibility study for the building of a bridge to connect Russia with the Crimea.
Konstantin Valerevich Malofeev
The youngest individual on the EU’s blacklist is subject to an ongoing criminal investigation into his suspected material and financial support of Ukrainian separatists operating in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Malofeev has also issued a number of public statements in support of Russia’s destabilisation efforts in Eastern Ukraine, not least the annexation of Crimea.
Yuriy Valentinovich Kovalchuk
Kovalchuk’s friendship with Putin began in the 1990s when the president was then Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg. The oligarch went on to co-found Ozero Dacha, a co-operative made up of the president’s closest and most influential associates. Kovalchuk has close ties with the National Media Group: an avid supporter of the government’s actions in Ukraine.
Nikolay Terentievich Shamalov
A major shareholder of Rossiya Bank, second only to Kovalchuk, Shamalov is a close acquaintance of Putin and a co-founder of the so-called Ozero Dacha. Rossiya has opened up a number of branches in Crimea and Sevastopol, and has played a key part in the consolidation of both locations into the Russian Federation.
The ‘Minister of Interior of the Republic of Crimea’ has been added to the EU’s blacklist, in effect banning him from travel and freezing any assets he may have in member states. By accepting the position, Abisov has ‘undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Ukraine,’ according to the Official Journal of the European Union.