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Why the U.S. Is Targeting the Business Empire of a Putin Ally

Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko
Russian billionaire Gennady TimchenkoPhotograph by Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

As the U.S. imposes a new round of sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, one name comes up again and again: Gennady Timchenko.

Of 17 companies and banks added to the U.S. sanctions list today, at least 14 are connected to Timchenko, a Russian-born billionaire and former judo partner of Putin’s. Timchenko, who built his fortune as co-founder of the oil trading company Gunvor Group, said he sold his stake in Gunvor the day before his name was placed on the first U.S. sanctions list on March 20.