Widespread Gov’t Seizure Of 44 Russian-Owned Properties Revealed

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Authorities in the European country of Montenegro have frozen 44 real estate assets connected to 34 individual Russians who’ve been sanctioned by the European Union in apparent connection to the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. Targeted individuals seemingly include members of Russia’s legislative body known as the State Duma and employees of Putin’s presidential administration.

Those the government of Montenegro went after include Duma members Anna Kuznetsova, Leonid Ivlev, Viktor Kazakov, and Oleg Smolin, along with permanent member of Russia’s Security Council Sergei Ivanov and Alexei Gromov, who’s First Deputy Chief of Staff in Putin’s administration and handles propaganda efforts. Ivanov is also the Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport. Meanwhile, the frozen real estate assets are located in the Montenegrin cities of Budva, Zabljak, and Herceg Novi.

There remains an ongoing global push to enact financial penalties in connection to the Russian violence in Ukraine. Just recently, U.S. federal prosecutors revealed they were moving to seize over $5.3 million from a bank account held by U.S.-sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, CNN reported, going off revelations in court documents. Malofeyev and associates of his have been repeatedly sanctioned by the United States, including in connection to Russia’s war against Ukraine.

As reported on this site, in April of this year, Malofeyev was charged “with conspiracy to violate United States sanctions and violations of United States sanctions in connection with his hiring of an American citizen, Jack Hanick, to work for him in operating television networks in Russia and Greece and attempting to acquire a television network in Bulgaria,” a New York U.S. Attorney’s office press release explained. The sanctions Malofeyev was charged with violating in that context were connected to earlier Russian actions against Ukraine, and U.S. authorities announced the related seizure of a $10 million investment Malofeyev made in a U.S. bank, which Malofeyev and associates conspired to transfer — in violation of U.S. sanctions — to a business associate in Greece.

As for the conflict itself, Russian forces are apparently once again plotting the targeting of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. In Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian leaders have assembled between five and seven battalion tactical groups alongside a variety of aircraft, per Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Arestovych “said these forces are intended for an attack on Kharkiv,” as The Washington Post summarizes. Ukrainian military forces had earlier success in pushing Russian troops back from near Kharkiv, but threats to the city haven’t stopped, as these developments reveal. Russian troops have sustained apparently substantial losses amid the fighting in Ukraine, but leadership in Putin’s country has shown no apparent sign of simply abandoning the conflict — although they also don’t acknowledge the apparent scope of their massive losses, which include both equipment and personnel.