Should the US and Other Countries Punish Russian Oligarchs for Putin's Invasion?

Headline Roundup March 9th, 2022

As Russian President Vladimir Putin's continued attacks on Ukraine are met with economic sanctions, wealthy Russians with ties to his regime are also being targeted.

Several yachts belonging to Russian oligarchs have been seized or restricted from leaving their current location, while over a dozen others have moved to areas where the sanctions don't apply. U.S. sanctions on the yachts prohibit any transactions in U.S. dollars related to the yacht, including maintenance and docking fees. Some oligarchs, such as Oleg Deripaska, have called for peace and for Putin to end the invasion. The word "oligarch" is often used to describe Russian businesspeople who rapidly accumulated wealth and political influence in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Some voices in left-rated outlets called for more ambitious sanctions against the oligarchs, with one writer for the Guardian suggesting that the U.S. and E.U. could "freeze all offshore holdings of Russian nationals in excess of $10m." One writer for Common Dreams (Left bias) said similar scrutiny should be directed toward wealthy Americans, and argued that the best way to prevent World War III is "is by eliminating all oligarchies, foreign or domestic, and replacing them with genuine democracy." One writer for Epoch Times was more skeptical of sanctioning Russian oligarchs, criticizing the "guilt by association" approach and questioning "whether they should be held personally responsible for the calamitous invasion of Ukraine" even if they're against the invasion.

From the Left
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OPINION

We’re sanctioning Russian oligarchs up the wazoo, hoping it’s a way to get Putin to stop his deadly attack on Ukraine.

But for this tactic to work, two conditions must be met: first, the US and our allies must be able to locate and tie up Russian oligarchic wealth. Second, Russian oligarchs must have enough power to stop Putin.

Let’s take them one at a time:

Can we locate and tie up the wealth of Russian oligarchs?

Anecdotally, sanctions on the oligarchs appear to be working. Last Sunday, the billionaire industrialist...

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From the Center
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More than a dozen Russian oligarch-owned yachts have been moved to remote ports to try to avoid their seizure after Western nations sanctioned their owners.

Sanctions on the oligarchs have increased as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. Some of their vessels are being moved to or already are sitting in ports in other nations, according to the Associated Press.

While some oligarchs have already had their yachts seized, others are attempting to get their vessels out of the sanctioning countries' reach.

Several superyachts have been seized in the European Union so...

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From the Right
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OPINION

The Western world is united in its response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Western countries, including the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, have imposed a bevy of sanctions expected to hurt the Russian economy.

One such sanction that lately received a great deal of media coverage is the seizure of the assets of Russian oligarchs held in the West. These include luxury villas, yachts, and bank accounts.

In this context, the word “oligarch” is mainly used pejoratively. The word has been in use since the...

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