In a letter to President Biden, the Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation, which Navalny founded, called on the administration to expand the already extensive U.S. sanctions on Russian officials to include a range of Russian oligarchs and officials who it says enable and assist Putin’s abuse of power and his network of corrupt enterprises. Many of those enterprises reportedly target dissidents or interfere in Western societies. Among 35 names, Navalny personally selected eight as prime targets, the foundation’s executive director, Vladimir Ashurkov, told me in an interview.
While Navalny received medical treatment in Germany after being poisoned with the chemical agent Novichok, likely by Russian intelligence agents, he and his friends anticipated that he might be arrested upon returning to Russia. They discussed ways the free world could exert pressure on Putin.
“Just a few days before Alexei boarded the plane, we had a talk with him and we discussed that the top eight people on this list should be the priority,” Ashurkov said. “These are the most blatant offenders, and we should first focus on them.”