U.S. slaps sanctions on Russian banks, Putin's kids

STORY: As the world reels from the horrific images emerging from the Ukrainian city of Bucha, the U.S. on Wednesday announced a wave of new sanctions on Russia, including on President Vladimir Putin's two adult daughters… with U.S. officials promising to deliver maximum economic pain to Moscow.

The sanctions hit Russian elites and financial institutions, including Russia's Sberbank, which holds one-third of Russia's total banking assets, and bans Americans from making new investments in Russia.

The moves are a response to what U.S. President Joe Biden said are war crimes committed by Russian forces.

“Responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable. And together with our allies and our partners, we're going to keep raising economic costs and ratchet up the pain for Putin."

By cutting off Russia's largest banks, the U.S. is "dramatically escalating" the financial shock on Russia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a House committee that the U.S. will continue to ratchet up the pressure.

“Our goal from the outset has been to impose maximum pain on Russia, while to the best of our ability shielding the United States and our partners from undue economic harm.”

The sanctions come days after the grim discovery of civilians shot dead at close range in the Ukrainian town of Bucha when it was retaken from Russian forces – with remaining citizens there unable to comprehend the destruction.

“Honestly, it's the first time I've seen something like this. Honestly. I served in the army. But something like this, I have never witnessed it. I just can't understand…Why do they need to kill civilians?”

Moscow denied targeting civilians and said the images of bodies in Bucha were staged.

As it heads into its seventh week, the war has killed thousands, turned entire cities into rubble and left a quarter of Ukraine's population homeless.

While in Russia, the economy unravels, with one official telling Reuters that the country is descending into economic, financial and technological isolation.