International efforts to punish Russian oligarchs for their financial connections to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have reached unprecedented levels, with everything from tracing down yachts to seizing Italian homes being undertaken. The Department of Justice has established a task force called “KleptoCapture” to seize the assets of Russian elites who attempt to evade sanctions by hiding their wealth in the United States.
Professor Timothy Frye of Columbia University has stated that “this time around, the attempt to track down their assets is significantly greater,” As a result, “it will take a long time, but it appears that there is some dedication to make it happen,” says the author.
Experts say it’s not obvious if the oligarchs wield enough influence over Putin to bring an end to Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine. Douglas Rediker, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told CNBC that imposing sanctions on the Russian oligarchs may be tough because of the U.S.′ robust protections for property rights.
“I’m not privy to intelligence that is not public, but it is hard to link to the particular relationship between at least some of the financial oligarchs and what is going on in Ukraine right now at the behest of President Putin,” Rediker said.
In other words, “it does not mean that their behavior has been squeaky clean or is justified, or that they are not culpable of a range of alleged offenses,” Rediker added.