Putin Strikes Back: Russia's Sanctions List Said To Include US Senators, High Ranking Administration Officials

Tyler Durden's picture

Ever since the theatrical announcement of asset freezes and other related sanctions of various Putin aides, Russian military and pro-Russia Ukrainian leaders earlier today by both the US president and the EU, the nagging question was when and how would Vladimir Vladimirovich retaliate, with tomorrow's Putin address to the joint session of Parliament seeming as a probable time and place. It now appears that Putin's personal retaliation has been leaked in advance, and according to the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin, it will involve an in kind response where various US senators and highly placed officials will be banned from visiting Russia, and likely also see their particular assets - if any- in Russian custody promptly frozen.

From the Beast:

U.S. senators, congressmen and top Obama administration officials are sure to be on Vladimir Putin’s sanctions list; a response to the Obama Administration’s announcement on Monday that 7 Russian officials and 4 Ukrainian officials would be barred from holding assets or traveling to the United States.


Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.


Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list.

Another person who will most certainly appears on the list is perpetual war hawk, and the person who responded to Putin's own Syrian near-war Op-Ed, John McCain.

"You think I’m not going to be on it?” McCain said. “I would be honored to be on that list.” McCain said he would not be impacted financially by being subject to a visa ban and asset freeze in the Russian Federation. "I guess I’m going to have to try to withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg,” he joked.

His sentiment mirrors that of Putin aide Surkov who earlier claimed to "being proud to be on U.S. black list" according to Interfax. Paradoxically, it is rapidly becoming a badge of honor to be named on the opposing nation's sanctions list, which instead of hurting those politicians - and as McCain said he hardly has a St. Petersburg account - it will raise their status in the eyes of the general public.

Of course, if and when the sanctions expand to include various oligarchs and/or mega corporations on either side of the border, the fallout would be far more dramatic should Russian billionaire owners of New York City penthouses or Los Angeles mansions be forced to liquidate their holdings, or if E&P companies in Russia suddenly find their assets partially nationalized. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Who else.

Other names that could be on the Russian sanctions list, although not confirmed, include Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who are leading the sanctions drive in the Senate, and Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, who has been heavily involved in working with the Ukrainian opposition that ousted the Yanokovich government.

Where it gets far more surreal is that the Beast reports that "one U.S. official who can rest easy is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who will not be on Putin’s sanctions list. It's been an ongoing rumor in administration circles that Carney is quietly lobbying to replace former Ambassador Mike McFaul as the next U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, who will also not be on the list." Well if the US really wants to accelerate WWIII, it would indeed be best served by sending Carney to Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8.

To be sure, the initial round of escalations achieves nothing besides merely antagonizing the two sides further. In this case the Beast is correct when it says that "the tit for tat sanctions are not likely to convince either side to back down from their position over the Russian invasion of Crimea, McCain said.“If we acquiesced to that, that would be a green light for him to go for Moldova, where there are also Russian troops,” said McCain. “That’s the problem with this appeasement policy.”

So what could next steps look like?

McCain is advocating for a series of more serious steps, which include the immediate arming of the Ukrainian military, which the administration has rejected for now, promising to help the Ukrainian military develop over the long term, rethinking U.S. approaches to Putin, and restarting U.S. missile defense projects in Eastern Europe.


There are signs that Putin is preparing a scenario ahead of a possible invasion of Eastern Ukraine, including sending Russian intelligence agents inside Ukraine to stir up unrest as a pretext for a possible expansion of the invasion.


“I’m not sure about Eastern Ukraine, but Putin has put everything in place for a de facto partition of Eastern Ukraine,” he said. “Will he do it? I don’t know. But I don’t think he can be discouraged from that by these limited actions by the United States… We must commit to the ultimate return of Crimea to Ukraine, just as we promised to the so called captive that they would eventually be free of Soviet domination.”

Short of the nuclear option, literally, which would be to plant more anti-ballistic missiles in NATO countries bordering the former USSR states, there is one almost as serious alternative:

“Our actions today demonstrate our firm commitment to holding those responsible accountable for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement. “We are thoroughly prepared to take increasing and responsive steps that would impose further political and economic costs.  At the same time, we want to be clear that a path of de-escalation remains available to the Russians, should they choose to use it."

And just as likely is Russia willing to take steps which would result in the complete liquidation of its $130 or so billion in US Treasurys and announcing it would transact in all currencies but the dollar going forward. Up to and including gold of course.

One thing is certain: while the Crimea referendum's outcome was priced in well in advance, we are now in completely uncharted waters, and the only question is which side will push the other just that extra inch too far, forcing disproportionate retaliation. Because if one thing has been made clear by now, it is that a crash in foreigner-owned Russian stocks, and not to mention the S&P, will hurt Obama far more than his Russian opponent.

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JLee2027's picture

Zero wins dumbass of the year award. Looking more and more stupid every second.

camaro68ss's picture

hahaha this is Comedy  

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I can imagine that McCain does have a secret account in St. Petersburg, and that it remains well-funded.

skwid vacuous's picture

when it comes to fake fiat $ backed by nothing, we will crush them!! USA! USA! USA!

Manthong's picture

Scratch some nice resort areas off the junket list for those clowns.

knukles's picture

Hooooooooleee Shit, Dudes amd Dudettes!
This is gettin' serious!

Fortunate Fool's picture

"Because if one thing has been made clear by now, it is that a crash in foreigner-owned Russian stocks, and not to mention the S&P, will hurt Obama far more than his Russian opponent."


Yeah, right. Economic sanctions would hurt much more the West than Russia... It's not like 40% of Russia's budget comes from gas revenue. If the West stop to buy Russian Gas now, let's see how the popultation would react to it. I don't believe Putin would maintain his 69% approval rate...

Arius's picture

conspiciously missing from both lists .... Kerry and Lavrov.

These two guys are the ones with the real power!  remember their long walks and their talks tete a tete .... these are the decision makers!!!

FinalCollapse's picture

All we need now is to send one fucking British submarine to the coast of Crimea - it will start a missile ping pong game.

AssFire's picture

Putin: If you freeze some our facebook accounts, then we'll freeze some of yours!

Obama: Well, if you annex Crimea, uhh...ummm- I'll unfriend you.

This shit could not be any funnier!

gmrpeabody's picture

" If the West stop to buy Russian Gas now, let's see how the popultation would react to it"


Like that's gonna happen.

Fortunate Fool's picture

Didn't it happen with Iranian oil before? Maybe studying a bit of history doesn't hurt...

I can't believe how many here on ZH sound like Putin's little bitches. Truly pathetic...

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Guy, it's not about Putin.  It's not about Obama.

It isn't about who is a great chess player and who isn't. 

The board has extra rooks for Putin.  Obama has no rooks.  It's not about being a better player.  It's having a losing situation.

This is what oil scarcity does.

TuPhat's picture

Do you have any way to show that the Iranians stopped selling oil?  All kinds of companies were accused of violating the embargo.  I think Iran was still selling all the oil they wanted to sell.  Europe is more worried the russians will decide to not sell them gas.

Fortunate Fool's picture

So tell me,how many US or EU oil companies are operating in Iran? And how is Iran's economy doing these days?

Ifigenia's picture

Ask Cohen, jew Cohen, he knows but i doubt he would tell you the thruth. Probably, he will tell you to consult msm.

johngaltfla's picture

Echoes of 1938. That didn't work out too well for the world. Obamachamberlain is making Jimmy Carter look manly....


The Ukrainian Prime Minister is Starting to Sound Hauntingly Like Edvard Beneš

nmewn's picture

And why the fuck was this down voted? Do we not come here for truth?

Very well, for all you fawning Putin sycophants eagerly licking the sweat off his balls in your fervent belief in "democracy"...how was it that the Crimea came to have a majority Russian speaking population?

It was Uncle Joe.

I can't help you were not given a proper government education, you were only taught what they wished for you to know but you're fucking adults NOW!

The Holodomor, look it up.

johny2's picture

educate yourself bit more than. 




As for holodomor, it was done under bolsheviks, and they did away with lot of russians as well.



nmewn's picture

I'm educated enough.

Holodomor was done under Stalin and his grand centrally planned socialist utopian vision of bullshit. Denied by KGB (that would be Putin's old stomping grounds) so I don't need Walter Duranty style (NYT's) diversions from the reality as it exists today.

johny2's picture

reality as it exists today is that crimea population wants to be part of Russia.

If you want to dig in the past, than you have to dig deeper than you do, to make it worth doing.

nmewn's picture

"reality as it exists today is that crimea population wants to be part of Russia."

The reality as it exists today is Stalin purposely decimated the population of the Ukraine with starvation (millions died) and deported 190,000 Tatars from the Crimea in 1944 of which around 50% of them died soon afterwards.

And you want to speak of "democracy"? WTF is wrong with you?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

nmewn, calm down. the bottom line is we got obuma and they got putin, game set match, even if russia takes back russian populations areas of eastern ukraine, we still got no one in charge here. best to know when you can't win, and there is no winning there. You seem to forget, the ussa is broke, not just the debt, but the whole sheebang, morals, work ethic, we turned our back on the creator, we do not have a moral ground to stand on. this country required a moral people to keep the republic, look around there are very few.

nmewn's picture

Don't get me wrong, I know who our enemies are. If I can use one against the other, I will.

This is more of a setting the record straight, for whats to come.

Independent's picture

Hey meow meow history lesson for you.  Europe settled first and foremost by IndoEuropeans, turns out Crimea is in Europe, so it was settled by IndoEuropeans including, Greeks, Slavic people, Goths, Celts, and so on (oldest Indoeuro crap found in the ground maybe 25,000BC).  About 1300 AD come the Tatars, asiatic Turkic people who take over the peninsula. and they have it while enslaving the locals for about 500 years when the Slavs pushed them out and reclaimed their land.  These Crimean Tatars are closest to Turks culturally and linguistically, so Turkey is the right place for them.


nmewn's picture

Well, hello there historic douchebag, seems you have a real problem reconciling lost empires with right & wrong. 

Good luck with that.

johny2's picture

crimea was also place where the bolsheviks killed a lot of Russians resisting their wall street backed coup ( much like recent coup in kiev was funded ). also it is the place where the said tartars used to make living selling the russian and ukrainian people they enslaved. Quite surprising any tartars survived after Russia got hold of it few hundreds of years ago, considering their relationship. 

they earned crimea, hard way. 


nmewn's picture

So, just so we're clear, you're siding as a Russian nationalist because the Golden Horde invaded hundreds of years before the Russian Empire even existed?

johny2's picture

I am just recognising that Crimea has been part of Russia much longer than it was part of ukraine. i also recognise that the bolsheviks were financied from the same source as the present regime in the Kiev. When talking about history in these parts of the world, have to look at many hundreds of years rather than certain points only.

As for who I am siding with, I guess in case of Crimea, it is Russia. If Russia was trying to take Kiev through force, I would side with the Ukraine. 

To be clear, you are siding with Killary, McCain, Nulland, Brzezinski etc because of what?

Ukraine I wish all the best, and i recommend to be very carefull of the financiers of the coup and investigate if the snipers in Kiev were really firing on both sides. 





astitchintime's picture

The reality as it exists today is that people don't know history at all anymore.

Therefore, the axiom "if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it" is rendered MUTE.

How convenient for TPTB.

matrix2012's picture


"The reality as it exists today is Stalin purposely decimated the population of the Ukraine with starvation (millions died) and deported 190,000 Tatars from the Crimea in 1944 of which around 50% of them died soon afterwards.

And you want to speak of "democracy"? WTF is wrong with you?"


@ nmewn


some ZHers (silvermail; TheFourthStooge-ing; jeff montanye) already posted below in other thread, i quote here in case you missed it earlier:


"The Russians just walked in after the USSR leader, Stalin,  starved millions of Ukrainians to death."

That's the narrative that's been pushed over the years, anyway.


STALIN forcibly relocated huge numbers of those troublesome RUSSIANS to the Ukraine and subsequently starved them along with the Ukrainians.

This happened because Stalin never struggled with the Ukrainians. Stalin fought with the class of prosperous peasants. He destroyed this class of the population, regardless of nationality or place of residence. Therefore, the famine was not only in Ukraine (in the former Russian territories with the Russian population), but also in the Russian Volga too.


People tend to forget that the BOLSHEVIKS were extremely hostile to any form of RUSSIAN nationalism, as such behavior was "counter-revolutionary". They had managed to steal control of Russia and rightfully felt threatened by any hint of pro-Russian sentiment.


*** The WEST (US-NATO-EU) needed to spread over the MYTH that STALIN destroyed UKRAINIAN people in order to break the population of the TWO close relatives (KIEVAN RUS') and then conquer them. ***


Fraud, Famine and Fascism - The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard




Little wonder that after Lenin's death it wasn't until 1982 that a truy Russian was the head of the USSR.

Both Krushchev and Brezhnev came from Ukraine. Brezhnev was born on 19 December 1906 in Kamenskoe (now Dniprodzerzhynsk in Ukraine), to metalworker Ilya Yakovlevich Brezhnev and his wife, Natalia Denisovna Mazalova. At different times during his life, Brezhnev specified his ethnic origin alternately as either Ukrainian or Russian, opting for the latter as he rose within the Communist Party. (from wikipedia) 

So Yuri Andropov in 1982 may be the first clearly Russian leader of USSR since Lenin. As an aside, how surreal the rapid turnover of Soviet leaders was in the early 1980s. After Brezhnev died, Andropov only lasted a year and a half before he died. His successor, Konstantin Chernenko, only lived long enough to hold the position for a little over a year.

Had Andropov lived, he could have extended the Soviet Union for another 20 years.  The man was very smart.

BraveSirRobin's picture

Obama is Putin's Bitch

Obama is Reggie Love's Bitch

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

hey, good guy nmewn, wish you were as upset about the mass invasion of the third world across the southern border, oh maybe you are, but that is the same plan to overpopulate the usa with people who know nothing of american values.

nmewn's picture

Anything the dickheads can do to stay in power is what they will do. Pretty funny really, the highest "law enforcement officer" in the land ordering some (but not all) violators of law expelled.

Its either law or its not. Its not up to him. His is to enforce law or abdicate his fucking throne.

Ifigenia's picture

Japan, Korea, China, India, Pakistan, ASEAN all are buying oil from Iran. MSM didnt tell you?

Fortunate Fool's picture

I guess that's why the Iranian economy is doing so well then...

Ifigenia's picture

hehe, if USA doesnt stick to her 5000 atomic marbles, certainly, more countries would go there to buy oil.

Andre's picture

"I can't believe how many here on ZH sound like Putin's little bitches. Truly pathetic..."

Worst case of projection I've seen since I was married.

derek_vineyard's picture

tit for tat

O's prboably headed for a vaca with vlady in crimea

and i thought vlad had balls---was i wrong

Andre's picture

This is about poking fun at O, not a show of force.

Face it, the US "sanctions" were symbolic

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


This shit could not be any funnier!

There is one thing which could indeed make it funnier. A lot funnier.

McCain is expecting to be a target of sanctions. He's looking forward to it. He'll be waving his tiny little tyrannosaurid arms around in a frenzy, gloating about his significance and patriotism as he stands infirm for the freedom of Ukrainians, a genuine self-perceived American hero.

How do you think he'll react if he's completely ignored? He'd be apoplectic with rage, an incontinent berserker, especially if people he considers less significant than himself were to be sanctioned.

Let's see how much of a sense of humor Putin has.

Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Of course there will be not any of these BS sanctions from russia. They will not go down to the clown level.

I expect even some invitation to do business in siberia for honorable mc. Shitstain.

noless's picture

Tit for tat political call out sanctions is the entire joke.

They already know whose invested in Russia, and have them for it.

palmereldritch's picture

Putin should make the sanctions on McCain conditional: He’s allowed to visit Russia but only if he pilots his own plane.


Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

I'd love to see a vine of when McCain finally aneurysms all over the place...ignoring him, whilst calling him an unnecessary shit stain would be perfect.

If Russia wants real sanctions (that hurt), they can suspend all activity for US oil companies in Russia. But buy some puts before that. Chevron would shitcan, at least for a while. And the French (Total Elf oil) would come in to "help" faster than they can say "I surrender".