RUSSIA/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration levied additional sanctions Thursday [11-8-18] on Russia for human rights abuses and illegal economic activity in Crimea, just days before President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin head to Paris for a gathering of world leaders. The move is another example of the Trump administration’s willingness to at times be tougher on Russia than the president’s rhetoric suggests. Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Putin, even as Congress passed a bill last year to punish Russia for its involvement in the 2016 election and its invasion of Crimea…Thursday’s sanctions target three individuals and nine entities for supporting efforts to economically integrate Crimea into Russia or for human rights violations. One of the entities is the Ministry of State Security of the Luhansk People’s Republic, an unrecognized breakaway state from Ukraine that is under Kremlin influence. The ministry has engaged in intimidation tactics in its prisons including threatening severe violence and rape, as well as persecuting members of Jehovah’s Witness, a Treasury statement said.”

Matthew Choi, “Trump administration ups sanctions on Russia before Paris summit,” Politico, November 8, 2018 3:04 pm