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New sanctions against Russia include Putin’s two daughters

The adult daughters of the Russian president are among the family members of prominent Russians whose assets have been targeted by a new round of U.S. sanctions.

A new round of economic sanctions on Russia issued by President Joe Biden has targeted the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House announced Wednesday that its latest round of sanctions targets the assets and bank accounts of family members of several prominent Russians in the wake of new accusations of war crimes against Putin in Ukraine.

Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, Putin's adult daughters with ex-wife Lyudmila Putina, are among those included in the sanctions. Putin divorced Putina in 2014.

"We’ve seen a pattern over time of President Putin and Russian oligarchs stash assets and resources in the bank accounts of their family members," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a news conference Wednesday. "And so this was an effort to get those assets."

Tikhonova is a tech executive who supports Russia's defense industry, and Vorontsova "leads state-funded programs" that have "received billions of dollars from the Kremlin" for genetic research, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The two sisters have mostly stayed out of the public eye, with Putin rarely mentioning them in any interviews.

“And to speak about where my daughters work and what exactly they do — I have never done it before and I am not going to do it now for great many reasons including security reasons," Putin said at his annual press conference in 2015, according to Reuters. "And generally I believe that every person has the right to his or her own destiny. They have never been ‘star’ children and have never enjoyed being in the spotlight. They simply live their lives and do it with great dignity.”

Putin also mentioned them in a 2017 interview with director Oliver Stone on Showtime.

"They have their own family life," Putin said. "They are not into politics and they aren’t into corporate business. They are into science and education."

A 2015 investigation by Reuters found that Tikhonova and her husband have corporate holdings worth about $2 billion as well as a $3.7 million property in France and multi-million-dollar contracts with the Russian government.

Experts say the sanctions against Putin's daughters may not take much of a financial toll on them and are more symbolic.

"Clearly the administration wanted to send a signal," Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary for defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, told NBC News foreign correspondent Molly Hunter on TODAY Thursday.

"It’s a way of telling Vladimir Putin your family cannot escape these sanctions — and it should be embarrassing."

The sanctions also target the wife and daughter of Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov as well as members of the Russian Security Council, according to the Treasury Department. Other sanctions include freezing the assets of two of Russia’s largest banks and banning all new investments in Russia.

The United Kingdom also announced more sanctions against Russia on Wednesday that included halting all Russian oil and coal imports by the end of the year.

“Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders,” U.K. Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a news release. “We will not rest until Ukraine prevails.”