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Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday designated former Ukrainian billionaire and former public official Ihor Kolomoyskyy as an individual involved "in significant corruption."

Why it matters: The designation prohibits Kolomoysky and his immediate family from traveling to the U.S. and signals that the Biden administration will help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his fight against oligarchs and entrenched corruption. U.S. authorities view Kolomoyskyy as among the most powerful of the oligarchs.

  • A source close to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy told Axios: "The presidential administration in Kyiv is elated — this is a huge story in Ukraine."

Background: Kolomoyskyy was long seen as Zelenskyy's patron. He owns the TV station that made Zelenskyy famous and his support helped Zelenskyy land the presidency. But their relationship has soured since Zelenskyy took office and sought to crackdown on corruption.

  • Buzzfeed News reported in May that Kolomoyskyy was being investigated "for allegedly laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. real estate," with much of the money landing in downtown Cleveland.
  • In 2019, the FBI announced it would be investigating Kolomoyskyy for alleged financial crimes, including money laundering, The Daily Beast reported.
  • Kolomoyskyy, owner of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s biggest bank, allegedly moved out over $5.5 billion via fraudulent schemes. But he denies the accusations, per the Kyiv Post.

What they're saying: From 2014 to 2015, "Kolomoyskyy was involved in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public's faith in their government's democratic institutions and public processes, including using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit," Blinken said in his statement announcing the action.

  • "This designation reaffirms the U.S. commitment to supporting political, economic, and justice sector reforms that are key to Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic path. The United States continues to stand with all Ukrainians whose work drives reforms forward."

Go deeper

Capitol Hill's far right pushes Anglo-Saxon values, European architecture

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple far-right House Republicans have begun planning and promoting an America First Caucus aimed at pushing "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions," Punchbowl News first reported.

The big picture: "The document was being circulated as the GOP is struggling to determine a clear direction as it prepares to try winning back control of the House and Senate in the 2022 elections," AP writes.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 180 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change.