DOJ Charges Russian Businessman with Violating Sanctions

    Image copyright: Reuters [via NBC]

    The Facts

    • Federal prosecutors have charged Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev with sanctions violations. The billionaire was added to the Treasury Department's list in 2014 accused of supporting separatists in Ukraine.

    • The DOJ accuses him of evading sanctions by attempting to covertly acquire and run pro-Kremlin media outlets across Europe. Although Malofeyev was blocked by the sanctions from doing business with US citizens, he did so anyway according to the charges.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The only way to make Putin stop the war in Ukraine is to squeeze any Russian benefiting from links to Moscow. US authorities will continue to 'seize and freeze' Russian oligarch's assets, wherever they try to hide them.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's hypocritical to impose sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, but not on the US for invading Iraq for equally unjustified reasons, or on Israel for invading and annexing Arab lands.

    Libertarian narrative

    These sanctions are unfair and there is a clear risk they will lead to widespread Russophobia. It's not just the sanctions on Russian oligarchs, there are also many informal sanctions on Russian people, culture and business. This is cancel culture stigmatizing an entire population for the crimes of one autocrat.

    Establishment split



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