The U.S. will blacklist five Russians, including one of Vladimir Putin's close aides, the New York Times reported on Monday. The sanctions are over human rights abuses, and are unrelated to allegations of Russian hackers influencing the U.S. presidential election. Among the five Russians to be blacklisted is Aleksandr Bastrykin, a chief public investigator who works closely with Putin. The U.S. accuses Bastrykin of being complicit in the 2009 death and coverup of a Russian lawyer in prison. A 2012 law gives the U.S. government the power to sanction Russians involved in human rights abuses. The sanctions would bar any of the five Russians from traveling to the U.S., and would freeze any of their U.S.-held assets. The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to announce the sanctions Monday afternoon.
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