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How the United States is Holding Russia and Belarus to Account

Last updated: January 6, 2023

“President Putin may have assumed that the United States and our allies were bluffing when we warned of massive, unprecedented consequences. 
But – as President Biden likes to say – big nations can’t bluff. 
The United States doesn’t bluff. 
And President Putin has gravely miscalculated.” 

Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State

The United States, along with its allies and partners, works to ensure the Russian Federation and the Lukashenka regime in Belarus pay a severe economic and diplomatic price for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

With our allies and partners, we have taken these actions:

  • Applied powerful sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institutions and its sovereign wealth fund. 
  • Made it difficult for Russia to find funding for its war beyond its borders. 
  • Choked off Russian imports of key technologies. 
  • Targeted the financial networks and assets of Russian and Belarusian elites, including President Putin and members of his security council. 

There is nowhere for individuals or entities who support the unprovoked war to hide. We already see the effects of these actions, as the Russian and Belarusian economies stumble. With our allies and partners, we will continue to take strong economic and diplomatic actions. 

We are also working with partners, including the Ukrainian authorities and international institutions, to pursue justice and accountability for war crimes and other atrocities committed in Ukraine. We will use every tool available to promote accountability for these acts, including criminal prosecutions.

These U.S. actions, to date, hold Russia and Belarus to account. 


Sweeping U.S. financial sanctions will impose costs on the Russian and Belarusian economies. Export controls and airspace restrictions will cut off Russia’s and Belarus’ access to vital technological inputs and atrophy their industrial base. These actions will undercut Russia’s and Belarus’ strategic ambitions to exert influence on the world stage.

january 26, 2023

Countering the Wagner Group and Degrading Russia’s War Efforts in Ukraine

Actions to Counter Wagner and Degrade Russia’s War Efforts in Ukraine

Treasury Sanctions Russian Proxy Wagner Group as a Transnational Criminal Organization

january 6, 2023

New Sanctions Targeting Iran’s UAV and Ballistic Missile Industries

Treasury Sanctions Suppliers of Iranian UAVs Used to Target Ukraine’s Civilian Infrastructure

december 15, 2022

Continuing to Hold Russia to Account for its War against Ukraine

Furthering the United States’ Effort to Hold Russia to Account for its War Against Ukraine

Treasury Further Constrains Russia’s Financial Services Sector

december 9, 2022

Combating Global Corruption and Human Rights Abuses

Treasury Sanctions Over 40 Individuals and Entities Across Nine Countries Connected to Corruption and Human Rights Abuse

November 15, 2022

Imposing Sanctions on Entities and Individuals in Response to Iran’s Transfer of Military UAVs to Russia

Treasury Targets Actors Involved in Production and Transfer of Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Russia for Use in Ukraine

November 14, 2022

Targeting Russia’s Global Military Procurement Network and Kremlin-Linked Networks

Treasury Sanctions Global Russian Military Supply Chain, Kremlin-Linked Networks, and Elites with Western Fortunes

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

Statement: Imposing Swift and Severe Costs in Response to Russia’s Violations of Ukraine’s Sovereignty

Commerce FAQ

Treasury Imposes Swift and Severe Costs on Russia for Putin’s Purported Annexation of Regions of Ukraine

Statement from President Biden on Russia’s Attempts to Annex Ukrainian Territory

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022

Statement: Targeting Russia’s Senior Officials, Defense Industrial Base, Financial Infrastructure Leaders, and Human Rights Abusers

Fact Sheet: Targeting Russia’s Senior Officials, Defense Industrial Base, and Human Rights Abusers

Treasury Targets Additional Facilitators of Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine

Commerce Takes Further Actions to Expand and Tighten U.S. Export Controls on Russia and Belarus

Commerce Implementation of Additional Sanctions Against Russia and Belarus Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Refinements to Existing Controls

September 8, 2022

Designating Iranian Proliferators of Shipping Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology to Russia for Use in Ukraine

Treasury Sanctions Iranian Persons Involved in Production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Weapon Shipment to Russia

August 2, 2022

Imposing Additional Costs on Russia for Its Continued War Against Ukraine

Fact Sheet: Imposing Additional Costs on Russia for Its Continued War Against Ukraine

Treasury Sanctions Elites and Companies in Economic Sectors that Generate Substantial Revenue for the Russian Regime

July 28, 2022

Targeting Russia’s Global Malign Influence Operations and Election Interference Activities

Treasury Targets the Kremlin’s Continued Malign Political Influence Operations in the U.S. and Globally

July 13, 2022

Briefing: U.S. Sanctions on Russia

June 28, 2022

Targeting Russia’s War Machine, Sanctions Evaders, Military Units Implicated in Human Rights Abuses, and Officials Involved in Suppression of Dissent

Fact Sheet: Targeting Russia’s War Machine, Sanctions Evaders, Military Units Credibly Implicated in Human Rights Abuses, and Russian Federation Officials Involved in Suppression of Dissent

Release: U.S. Treasury Sanctions Nearly 100 Targets in Putin’s War Machine, Prohibits Russian Gold Imports

FACT SHEET: The United States and G7 to Take Further Action to Support Ukraine and Hold the Russian Federation Accountable

Release: FinCEN and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Urge Increased Vigilance for Potential Russian and Belarusian Export Control Evasion Attempts

Release: FinCEN and BIS Issue Joint Alert on Potential Russian and Belarusian Export Control Evasion Attempts

June 2, 2022

Targeting Russia’s Oligarchs and Vessels

Fact Sheet: Promoting Accountability and Imposing Costs on the Russian Federation and Its Enablers for Putin’s Aggression Against Ukraine

Fact Sheet: United States Takes Further Actions to Counter Sanctions Evasion by Russia

Release: U.S. Treasury Severs More Networks Providing Support for Putin and Russia’s Elites

May 8, 2022

Targeting Russia’s Financial, Defense, and Marine Sectors and Promoting Accountability for Russian and Belarusian Military Officials

Fact Sheet: State Department Actions to Promote Accountability and Impose Costs on the Russian Government for Putin’s Aggression against Ukraine

Release: U.S. Treasury Takes Sweeping Action Against Russia’s War Efforts

Fact Sheet: United States and G7 Partners Impose Severe Costs for Putin’s War Against Ukraine

Statement: G7 Leaders’ Statement

April 20, 2022
Promoting Accountability for Human Rights Abuses in Russia and Belarus and Taking Action Against Sanctions Evaders

Release: U.S. Treasury Designates Facilitators of Russian Sanctions Evasion

April 7, 2022

Further Targeting Russian State-Owned Enterprises

Release: The United States Sanctions Major Russian State-Owned Enterprises

Fact Sheet: Additional State Department Designations Targeting Russian State-Owned Defense Shipbuilding Enterprise

April 6, 2022
Targeting Additional Russian Financial Institutions, Officials, and Other Individuals

Release: U.S. Treasury Escalates Sanctions on Russia for Its Atrocities in Ukraine

Fact Sheet: United States, G7 and EU Impose Severe and Immediate Costs on Russia

April 5, 2022
Sanctions on Darknet Market and Ransomware-Enabling Virtual Currency Exchange

Release: Treasury Sanctions Russia-Based Hydra, World’s Largest Darknet Market, and Ransomware-Enabling Virtual Currency Exchange Garantex

March 31, 2022
Additional Sanctions on Russia’s Technology Companies and Cyber Actors

Release: Treasury Targets Sanctions Evasion Networks and Russian Technology Companies Enabling Putin’s War

March 24, 2022
Sanctions on Additional Members of Russia’s Duma, Russian Elites, Bank Board Members, and Defense Entities

Fact Sheet: Targeting Elites of the Russian Federation

Fact Sheet: United States and Allies and Partners Impose Additional Costs on Russia

Release: U.S. Treasury Sanctions Russia’s Defense-Industrial Base, the Russian Duma and Its Members, and Sberbank CEO

March 15, 2022
Treasury Sanctions Russians Connected to Gross Human Rights Violations and Corrupt Leader of Belarus

March 15, 2022
Promoting Accountability for Human Rights Abuses Perpetrated by the Governments of Russia and Belarus

March 15, 2022
U.S. Announces Sanctions on Key Members of Russia’s Defense Enterprise

March 11, 2022
Treasury Sanctions Kremlin Elites, Leaders, Oligarchs, and Family for Enabling Putin’s War Against Ukraine

Fact Sheet: Targeting Elites of the Russian Federation

Remarks by President Biden Announcing Actions to Continue to Hold Russia Accountable

March 3, 2022
Targeting Russian Elites and Defense Enterprises of Russian Federation

Release: Treasury Sanctions Russians Bankrolling Putin and Russia-Backed Influence Actors

March 2, 2022
U.S. Treasury Takes Additional Steps to Strengthen Compliance with Russia-Related Sanctions

February 28, 2022
Additional Measures Against the Russian Financial System

Release: Treasury Prohibits Transactions with Central Bank of Russia and Imposes Sanctions on Key Sources of Russia’s Wealth

February 25, 2022
U.S. Treasury Imposes Sanctions on Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov

Statement: Imposing Sanctions on President Putin and Three Other Senior Russian Officials

February 24, 2022
U.S. Treasury Announces Unprecedented & Expansive Sanctions Against Russia, Imposing Swift and Severe Economic Costs

February 24, 2022
U.S. Treasury Targets Belarusian Support for Russian Invasion of Ukraine

February 23, 2022
Sanctioning NS2AG, Matthias Warnig, and NS2AG’s Corporate Officers

February 21, 2022
FACT SHEET: Executive Order to Impose Costs for President Putin’s Action to Recognize So-Called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics

Statement: Kremlin Decision on Eastern Ukraine

Release: U.S. Treasury Imposes Immediate Economic Costs in Response to Actions in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions

Export and Import Controls 

The United States has imposed stringent export controls on Russia and on Belarus, which has helped enable Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

We continue to restrict Russian imports and exports, adding to and further tightening steps taken after Russia’s occupation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas in 2014. Measures taken as a result of Putin’s recent actions include these: 

Visa Restrictions 

In order to promote accountability for human rights abuses and violations by the Russian Federation and the Lukashenka regime in Belarus, the United States has imposed a series of sanctions and visa restrictions. These actions target Russian and Belarusian officials, Russia’s proxy “authorities” in the parts of Ukraine it controls, and private individuals involved in human rights abuses, corruption and repression related to Putin’s premeditated and unjustified war against Ukraine and its people.

Private Sector Actions 

As President Biden said earlier this week, the United States welcomes the decisions of companies to exit Russia because they want no part of Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine. An unofficial list names hundreds of U.S. companies that will stop doing business in Russia.

Justice and Accountability

Based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. 

That is why we are supporting a range of mechanisms to document and promote justice and accountability for war crimes and other atrocities committed in Ukraine. This includes helping to build Ukraine’s domestic capacity by supporting the work of the War Crimes Units under the Office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. It includes supporting international investigative and accountability-related mechanisms, including the robust new UN Commission of Inquiry, which we helped create, to investigate human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by Russia’s forces. We joined 44 other OSCE countries in launching an Expert Mission, with Ukraine’s support, to examine reported human rights abuses or violations and violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, by Russia’s forces in Ukraine. And it includes supporting the important work of human rights documenters in Ukraine.  

We are committed to pursuing accountability for such acts using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions. 

U.S. Department of State

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