Even as Russia pursues its unjustified war against Ukraine, the government has intensified its crackdown at home against freedoms of expression, press, association, and peaceful assembly. Those in Russia who provide factual reporting on the invasion or criticize Putin face criminal charges. Similarly, the Aleksandr Lukashenka regime in Belarus continues its violent repression against civil society, anti-war protestors, democratic opposition, independent media, and ordinary Belarusians.
In response, the Department of State has designated Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his immediate family members ineligible for entry into the United States for his involvement in gross violations of human rights and significant corruption.
The State Department issued a new visa restriction policy under the Immigration and Nationality Act against 38 individuals to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of Russia’s repression.
Two Russian Federal Security Service officers in Crimea, Artur Shambazov and Andrey Tishenin, were designated for their involvement in torture.
The Department of State also imposed visa restrictions on an additional six individuals who, acting on behalf of the Russian Federation, participated in attacks on Chechen dissidents living in Europe. This action is being taken pursuant to the “Khashoggi Ban.”
The United States has also imposed visa restrictions on 25 individuals responsible for undermining democracy in Belarus pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 8015.
The Department of State has designated 11 senior Russian defense officials which will impose severe costs on Russia’s Ministry of Defense as it pursues its brutal military invasion of Ukraine, which has led to unnecessary casualties and suffering, including the deaths of children.
Additionally, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is imposing sanctions on Kurchaloi District of the Chechen Republic Branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, two of its officers, a Kurchaloi District prosecutor, and a district court judge in Moscow, pursuant to the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.
The United States will continue to promote accountability for those who support, enable, and perpetrate human rights abuses in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere.