- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

EU Officials Plan to Funnel Funds From Seized Russian Assets to Crumbling Ukrainian Regime - Report

© AFP 2023 / FREDERICK FLORINA picture taken on March 8, 2022 shows European Union's and Ukrainian flags fluttering outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France.
A picture taken on March 8, 2022 shows European Union's and Ukrainian flags fluttering outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
Billions of Euros in property and investments owned by Russians have been seized by European officials over recent weeks, and if US and EU officials are to be believed, more is on the way.
In Italy, authorities have taken €780 million ($862 million) worth of assets in the last two weeks. In the Netherlands, €194 million worth in the last week alone, per Dutch Central Bank Manager Klaas Knot. And now, amid the mad dash for Russian cash, EU officials are looking to funnel the funds into a so-called “war reparations fund” for the beleaguered Ukrainian regime, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The EU has been collaborating closely with the United States amid widespread mainstream western denunciations of the ongoing Russian special military operation aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine, which was spurred by near-continuous attacks on Russian-speaking communities in eastern Ukraine which has killed well over 10,000 people since 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the concert dedicated to the celebration of the unification of Crimea with Russia in 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.03.2022
Putin: Main Goal of Russian Operation in Ukraine is to Set Donbass Free From Genocide
On Wednesday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland announced they are unleashing a “task force” to “seize and freeze” assets from “REPO,” or “Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs.”
The efforts are part of an ongoing economic pressure campaign, consisting mainly of NATO-aligned nations, to attack Russian individuals. Official statements described the move as an initiative to take “legal steps to find, restrain, freeze, seize, and, where appropriate, confiscate or forfeit” the assets of Russians accused of having connections with the Russian government.
Just a day later, the EU announced a “Freeze and Seize” operation to work alongside the US and coordinate collaboration among Western powers. The so-called “task forces” are reportedly slated to operate alongside a previously announced US Justice Department-led initiative called “KleptoCapture” which is also aimed at seizing funds and assets of those labeled “Putin affiliates” by Western nations.
A view of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday evening, January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2022
US Senators Unveil Bipartisan Bill Proposing Seizure, Sale of Russian Assets in Support of Ukraine
On Tuesday, US Senators unveiled legislation under which wealthy Russians’ assets could be seized and auctioned off, with the profits also benefiting the Ukrainian regime. The “Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act” would allow the US government to take and sell assets valued at over $2 million from not just Russians slapped with US sanctions but also “foreigners linked to the Russian government,” according to Forbes.
While the legislation currently stipulates the proceeds from the sale of such ill-gotten goods would be used "only for the benefit of the people of Ukraine," Forbes notes this category would include “military assistance.”
By all indications, Kiev needs it. Amid what Forbes described as “growing concern about Ukraine’s ability to sustain its military operations and provide services to its citizens.”
Vladimir Putin meets with Russian Security Council, 18 February 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2022
Washington Coordinating With Allies to Seize Putin’s Assets, US Senator Says
European Council President Charles Michel said Friday, on Twitter, that after a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, he was looking to create a “Ukraine Solidarity Fund” which would “serve as backbone for reconstruction of a free and democratic #Ukraine.”
But with the ongoiing operation, it’s unclear whether such funds will make much of an impact on the current balance of forces.
"You cannot just walk up and grab somebody's yacht. You have to walk through the facts that link the property to a crime," federal prosecutor and KleptoCapture task force chief Andrew Adams told MSNBC in an interview this week. "You have to be able to describe not only what crime was committed with a degree of probable cause, but you have to trace the property to the condition of the crime."
As US government-funded outlet VOA News noted, “Investigations,” into accused offenders “can drag on for months and years.”
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