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US will be able to sell seized Russian yachts, give money to Ukraine

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In the early months of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the United States and other countries seized yachts, mansions, private jets and other valuable assets belonging to Russian oligarchs. But many wondered, including D.C. lawmakers, what can be done with all those billionaire toys? Well, included in Congress’s $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package is an amendment to allow for those assets to be sold and for the proceeds to be given to Ukraine.

“It will be a godsend to the long suffering people of the Ukraine. It will be a relief to the American taxpayer, because billions of dollars are subject to being seized and transferred. It will be a bad day for oligarchs,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said just before the amendment was passed unanimously.

Yachts seized at the request of the United States include the $90 million, 255-foot Tango, which could be a tender next to the $300 million, 348 foot vessel Amadea. French Authorities seized Roman Abramovich’s $120 million dollar Riviera mansion. The Treasury Department has blocked or frozen more than $30 billion in sanctioned Russian assets.

A September report from the World Bank and Ukrainian government found that Russia’s invasion caused more than $97 billion dollars in direct damages to Ukraine through June 1, and it could cost $350 billion to rebuild the country. But the cost has certainly increased since the latest reports.

“Therefore, the reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but a joint task of the entire democratic world,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a speech before the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland this July.

Congress also passed the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act Thursday, which will allow the Justice Department to prosecute war criminals found in the United States, even if their crime wasn’t committed in America.

“We know from our experience with Nazi war criminals that some offenders will escape immediate prosecution. They may assume false names, they may flee to other countries. Some may even make it to our country,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said during a September hearing on war crimes.

Before the Justice for Victims Act was passed, members of Congress said war criminals could have found safe haven in the United States because there was no U.S. statute for crimes against humanity.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

You may remember in the early months of Russia’s war on Ukraine seeing yachts, mansions, private jets and other valuable assets belonging to Russian oligarchs being seized by the United States and other countries. The question was – what do you do with all those billionaire toys? Well, included in Congress’s 1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending package is an amendment to allow for those assets to be sold, and for the proceeds to be given to Ukraine. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham:  “It will be a godsend to the long suffering people of the Ukraine, it will be a relief to the American taxpayer, because billions of dollars are subject to being seized and transferred. It will be a bad day for oligarchs.” 

Yachts seized at the request of the United States include the 90 million dollar, 255 foot Tango, which could be a tender next to the 300 million dollar, 348 foot vessel the Amadea. French Authorities seized Roman Abromovich’s $120 million dollar Riviera mansion. The Treasury Department has blocked or frozen more than $30 billion in sanctioned Russian assets.  

A September report from the World Bank and Ukrainian government found that Russia’s invasion caused more than $97 billion dollars in direct damages to Ukraine through June 1st, and it could cost $350  billion to rebuild the country. But the cost has certainly increased since the latest reports. 

Zelensky: “Therefore, the reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but a joint task of the entire democratic world.”

Congress also passed the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act Thursday, which will allow the Justice Department to prosecute war criminals found in the United States, even if  the crime wasn’t committed in America. 

 Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, “We know from our experience with Nazi war criminals that some offenders will escape immediate prosecution. They may assume false names, they may flee to other countries. Some may even make it to our country,”

Before the Justice for Victims Act was passed, members of Congress said war criminals could have found safe haven in the United States because there was no US statute for crimes against humanity. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.

In the early months of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the United States and other countries seized yachts, mansions, private jets and other valuable assets belonging to Russian oligarchs. But many wondered, including D.C. lawmakers, what can be done with all those billionaire toys? Well, included in Congress’s $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package is an amendment to allow for those assets to be sold and for the proceeds to be given to Ukraine.

“It will be a godsend to the long suffering people of the Ukraine. It will be a relief to the American taxpayer, because billions of dollars are subject to being seized and transferred. It will be a bad day for oligarchs,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said just before the amendment was passed unanimously.

Yachts seized at the request of the United States include the $90 million, 255-foot Tango, which could be a tender next to the $300 million, 348 foot vessel Amadea. French Authorities seized Roman Abramovich’s $120 million dollar Riviera mansion. The Treasury Department has blocked or frozen more than $30 billion in sanctioned Russian assets.

A September report from the World Bank and Ukrainian government found that Russia’s invasion caused more than $97 billion dollars in direct damages to Ukraine through June 1, and it could cost $350 billion to rebuild the country. But the cost has certainly increased since the latest reports.

“Therefore, the reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but a joint task of the entire democratic world,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a speech before the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland this July.

Congress also passed the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act Thursday, which will allow the Justice Department to prosecute war criminals found in the United States, even if their crime wasn’t committed in America.

“We know from our experience with Nazi war criminals that some offenders will escape immediate prosecution. They may assume false names, they may flee to other countries. Some may even make it to our country,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said during a September hearing on war crimes.

Before the Justice for Victims Act was passed, members of Congress said war criminals could have found safe haven in the United States because there was no U.S. statute for crimes against humanity.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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