Republican Senator Ben Sass called on President Biden to tighten sanctions on “thug buddies” who “contribute to Putin’s madness” as lawmakers urged the president to personally sanction the Russian leader’s wealth.
“We need targeted sanctions against the 16 gangster oligarchs who are driving Putin’s madness,” Sasse, Nebraska, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday.
“These guys, we need a TV series called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous assholes,” he suggested.
On Thursday, Biden announced his sanctions tranche as Russian troops rained down on Ukraine, rockets and bombs rained down from the sky, and Ukrainians were forced to shelter overnight in bomb shelters and underground metro stations.
The sanctions targeted families close to Vladimir Putin, as well as top executives of Kremlin-linked banks.
They will now be subject to “full lockdown sanctions,” meaning they are cut off from the US financial system, any assets they hold in the United States are frozen, and they are barred from entering the US.
Sasse said that while many Americans “failed to find Ukraine on the map,” he believes that “ultimately Americans will make the wise and prudent choice to understand why our fundamental interest here should be directed against the evil Vladimir Putin, because this guy got big… ** a weapon and he’s evil.
Former sec. Hillary Clinton agreed that Biden should be more aggressive in attacking the wealth of Putin’s henchmen.
“We must persecute those oligarchs who financially support Putin. They have to pay the price, whether it’s their yachts or their homes… This is a critical moment and we need to put maximum pressure on Putin as quickly as possible,” she told Morning Joe.
Meanwhile, Florida Senator Rick Scott has joined the sea of voices calling for President Biden to personally impose sanctions on Putin.
“We need targeted sanctions against the 16 oligarchs, gangster henchmen who are driving Putin’s madness,” said Senator Ben Sasse.
Sasse said that Americans would understand why the US should support Ukraine because Putin is “evil” and has “a huge **gun”.
“The strength and determination we have seen in the Ukrainian people is incredible, but the US needs to do more. We must impose devastating personal sanctions against Putin and his henchmen and focus on hurting the Russian economy and oligarchy,” he tweeted.
Curiously, Biden did not mention sanctions against Russia’s super-rich leader. He said imposing sanctions on Putin’s personal property was “discussed”, but did not answer the question why he has not yet done so.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Virginia, called Putin “greedy” following news that the Russian president’s $81 million yacht was sailing out of Germany.
“Putin, the multi-billionaire, is the epitome of greed and oligarchy. Maybe before starting a war that could kill thousands and leave millions, he could be more concerned about the people of Ukraine and Russia than his precious superyacht,” Sanders wrote.
Rumor has it that Putin’s personal fortune is in the hundreds of billions, possibly making him the world’s richest man, but this has never been confirmed. Forbes recently called it “the most elusive mystery in the hunt for riches.”
Vladimir Putin’s superyacht “Fine” in the Kiel Canal. The ship leaves the German port before possible sanctions
The Nebraska Republican has also targeted non-interventionists, some of whom are in his own party.
“Those who advocate indifference [toward Russia’s invasion of Ukraine] wrong,” and not everyone takes this position “in good faith.” According to him, many “are trying to score cheap political points.”
In particular, Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance represented a small but vocal wing of the Republican Party that believes the US should stay out of the conflict. He said this week that the invasion “has nothing to do with our national security” and “distracts our idiotic ‘leaders’ from focusing on things that really matter to our national security, like securing the border and stopping flow of fentanyl. it’s killing American children.”
Arguing for tougher sanctions, Sass detailed disagreements between US agencies.
“There is no urgency in the Treasury and State Departments as there is in the Intel community and the Pentagon,” he said.
Sasse also addressed the United Kingdom, stating that London needed to do more to quell Russian wealth “jumping all over London”.
“We need the British, who have been great allies in general, to come forward and admit that there are tons of Russian billionaire money floating around London and we need to get them out of the country,” he said.
A man clears rubble from a damaged residential building on Koshytsa Street, in a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, that was allegedly hit by a military shell on February 25.
A soldier walks past the wreckage of a military plane shot down at night in Kiev, Ukraine, 25
The aftermath of a night shelling of a residential area in Kiev, Ukraine, February 25.
“Their children need to be kicked out of the country, and they must return and live in Moscow hellholes with Putin, because they are the ones who allow him. They don’t want to live with it, but they love to make money from it. There should be more consequences for them and we should act faster.”
Members of Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party accused the prime minister of “encouraging” Putin’s invasion with his “pathetic sanctions” on Monday. Following the criticism, Johnson turned tougher on Friday, announcing on Thursday 10 separate lines of measures that would have a “significant” impact on Moscow’s economy, with officials saying they should cut its GDP by a few percentage points.
The assets of all large Russian banks, including VTB, will be frozen, and the new legislation will deprive the state and all large firms of the country of the opportunity to raise money in the London markets.
Johnson noted that at present half of Russia’s trade is carried out in dollars and pounds sterling.
The government says more than 100 people, organizations and subsidiaries will be sanctioned, including defense giant Rostec. Travel bans and asset restrictions will be imposed on five more named individuals, including Kirill Shamalov, the youngest Russian billionaire previously married to Putin’s daughter.