From SwissInfo news: www.swissinfo.ch/…

I live in Geneva. This news is not a secret, and friends who work in various parts of the diplomatic corps and UN have long shrugged at this.

Putin’s alleged girlfriend – Alina Kabaeva, former Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics – drew the attention of Swiss and international press in 2015, when she reportedly gave birth to a girl in the Italian-speaking city of Lugano, canton Ticino. Putin was widely believed to be the father of the child although his spokesman denied it at the time.

Criminal law expert Mark Pieth credited the Swiss government for taking an interest in the matter now.

“I think the Swiss authorities are right to investigate the issue,” he told Tagesschau. “It’s not just their private business. I think it’s Switzerland’s business whether Putin’s mistress is staying with us.”

and

Four of the newly sanctioned Russians live in Switzerland, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported on Saturday. The list of sanctioned Russians grew this week on account of the conflict in Ukraine. Three of those who are in Switzerland risk deportation, the fourth is shielded by his Swiss passport, according to the newspaper.

I have lived here since 2008. I also know there is about 200B CHF in Swiss banks, of Russians (not all oligarchs). www.bloomberg.com/…

Banks probably hold between 150 billion ($160 billion) and 200 billion Swiss francs of Russian client money in offshore accounts, according to the Swiss Bankers Association. Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein said earlier this week that Russian money accounted for about 4% of assets at the bank’s wealth management division.  

I realise that in the last month the moves the Swiss government has made were prudent. Personally, I know we cannot do a lot more but wish we could. www.ktep.org/… and here  www.admin.ch/…

Switzerland’s ambassador to the U.S., Jacques Pitteloud, in an interview told NPR why the sanctions were necessary.

JACQUES PITTELOUD: To see a sovereign state attacking another sovereign state without any reason and without any justification and thus violating the very basic tenets of the international order was, for Switzerland, a major shock, definitely.

and

The Federal Council has also decided to partially suspend the 2009 agreement on visa facilitation for Russian nationals. The Federal Council has also decided to impose entry bans against a number of individuals who have a connection to Switzerland and are close to the Russian president. Based on the Federal Constitution (Art. 184 para. 3 Cst. and Art. 185 Cst.), the Federal Council may adopt appropriate measures to safeguard the country’s interests or Switzerland’s external security, independence and neutrality.

In addition – in line with airspace closures in other European countries – Swiss airspace will be closed to all flights from Russia and to all movements of aircraft with Russian markings from 3pm on Monday with the exception of flights for humanitarian, medical or diplomatic purposes.

Many of my friends and colleagues are helping where we can. Some are offering to house refugees, we are donating clothes, medical supplies, funds thru AirBnB and places to stay in Poland for example for refugees too.

However, if it is true that there is a family of Putin’s here, I wish we could encourage them to tell him to stop. Somehow. I wish the oligarchs would get him to stop. I have no words for how horrified I am at this situation. The reporting here at DKos is stellar, so thank you.  

What are your thoughts on this? 

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