(Foreign Affairs) On March 11, 2015, the U.S. Treasury Department placed a new round of sanctions on 14 figures that Washington considers responsible for the conflict in Ukraine. Until now, sanctions had targeted either high-level Russian politicians or those who were part of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle—his friends and their bankers. The latest list, however, includes mostly secessionist leaders from Donbas, a region in Eastern Ukraine that roughly covers the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. But it also names individuals that do not belong to the Russian ruling circles, and are connected to the Ukraine conflict only by ideology.
Take for example, Alexander Dugin, an outspoken Russian thinker who is often noted in Western media for his fascist views and his belief that Ukraine is not a sovereign state but a region that belongs, and therefore is fated to return, to Russia. Dugin has no official status within the Russian government. He is not even a member of the Public Chamber—a consultative institution created by Putin to foster a regime-friendly civil society—although one of Dugin’s close associates, Valery Korovin, was elected by an informal public vote as a member in Spring 2014. Nor is Dugin a part of Putin’s inner circle. […]
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