(RepublicanInformer.com)- While the news media presents the invasion of Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s war, the truth is, there are several members of the Kremlin who have been involved in planning and carrying out the invasion.
Among those close to Putin is his long-time confidant Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu was the brains behind the 2014 operation to seize Crimea from Ukraine. He is also the head of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.
Shoigu was accused of being behind the 2018 Salisbury, UK poisoning attack and the 2020 near-fatal nerve agent poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Siberia.
As Putin’s chief of staff, Shoigu oversaw the invasion of Ukraine.
Then there’s Nikolai Patrushev who has a great deal of influence over Vladimir Putin. The two worked together in the old KGB and Patrushev succeeded Putin as the head of the FSB from 1999 until 2008.
Two other members of Putin’s inner circle are security service Chief Alexander Bortnikov and former intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin.
Alexander Bortnikov is a former Leningrad KGB officer. He succeeded Nikolai Patrushev as the head of the FSB in 2008.
Another former KGB officer, Sergei Naryshkin has remained part of Putin’s inner circle throughout his career. He worked with Putin in St. Petersburg in the 1990s, then joined him in Moscow in 2004.
Last week, the Biden administration announced direct sanctions aimed at targeting Russian oligarchs and those within Putin’s inner circle who are considered instrumental in financing and supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The White House said 19 Russian oligarchs and 47 of their family members will face visa restrictions from the State Department limiting their travel.
According to the White House fact sheet, these individuals and their families will also be cut off from the US financial system, their US properties will be blocked from use, and their US assets will be frozen.
The US and its allies also issued blocking sanctions on 26 Russian and Ukraine-based individuals for spreading false narratives advancing Russian strategic objectives in Ukraine.