U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko at Davos. Photo: Mikhail Palinchak / TASS via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury Department is issuing sanctions on 21 people and 9 companies over Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea, which the U.S. does not formally recognize, the AP reports.

What it means: This could ramp up tensions between the U.S. and Russia — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Friday with Ukraine’s president in Switzerland just a month after the U.S. reportedly approved a lethal arms sale to Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict last month.

  1. Ukrainian separatists are sanctioned, including those in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, with the titles of minister of finance, trade, justice, and security.
  2. Russia’s deputy energy minister Andrey Cherezov, already under EU sanctions, is also targeted.

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - World

China announces retaliatory sanctions on Rubio, Cruz and other U.S. officials

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it's imposing sanctions on Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with nine other Americans, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: It's a direct response to similar actions by the U.S. that included the Trump administration placing sanctions on officials Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last Friday over Beijing's encroachment of the Asian financial hub's s autonomy.

Biden’s union push could force showdown with Elon Musk

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Joe Biden wants to go big on climate change and big on unions. Elon Musk leads on the former but lags on the latter.

Why it matters: Musk isn’t uniquely averse to unions, but Tesla is considered a leader on the type of new technologies needed to tackle climate change. Musk’s leadership ethos could be in the crosshairs if Biden becomes president and follows through on his campaign vows.

Updated 56 mins ago - World

Police and protesters clash in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.