Widget Image
Follow PPD Social Media
Connect With PPD
Saturday, October 19, 2019
HomeNewsPoliticsTrump Administration Sanctions Russians for Election Interference, Cyber Attacks on Electrical Grid

Trump Administration Sanctions Russians for Election Interference, Cyber Attacks on Electrical Grid

President Donald Trump, followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo)
President Donald Trump, followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo)
President Donald Trump, followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo)

The Trump Administration announced sanctions against 24 Russian entitles and individuals for interference in the 2016 elections and cyber attacks “targeting critical infrastructure.” The White House stressed that more sanctions are coming against the Kremlin.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 5 entities and 19 individuals under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.”

“The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”

Mr. Mnuchin said the White House stressed that more sanctions against Kremlin-tied Russian entitles and individuals allegedly behind “malicious” cyber attacks on the U.S. electrical grid and financial sector, will follow.

“Treasury intends to impose additional CAATSA sanctions, informed by our intelligence community, to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the U.S. financial system,” the secretary added.

All property and interests in property of the designated persons — or, those targeted by sanctions — subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

These entities and individuals are subjects of the recent indictment announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on February 16, 2018. Special Counsel Robert Mueller uncovered a sophisticated plot to wage an “information warfare” within the U.S. and a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

Mr. Rosenstein said the special counsel investigation found no American was a knowing participant in illegal activity and made clear that the indictment did not allege that any of the interference changed the outcome of the presidential race.

E.O. 13694 SANCTIONS (H/T: Treasury)

Today’s action includes the designation of 3 entities and 13 individuals pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, which targets malicious cyber actors, including those involved in interfering with election processes or institutions.

The Internet Research Agency LLC (IRA) tampered with, altered, or caused a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions. Specifically, the IRA tampered with or altered information in order to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. The IRA created and managed a vast number of fake online personas that posed as legitimate U.S. persons to include grassroots organizations, interest groups, and a state political party on social media. Through this activity, the IRA posted thousands of ads that reached millions of people online. The IRA also organized and coordinated political rallies during the run-up to the 2016 election, all while hiding its Russian identity. Further, the IRA unlawfully utilized personally identifiable information from U.S. persons to open financial accounts to help fund IRA operations.

Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin (Prigozhin) provided material assistance to the IRA. Specifically, Prigozhin funded the operations of the IRA. OFAC previously designated Prigozhin under E.O. 13661, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” on December 20, 2016.

Concord Management and Consulting LLC provided material assistance to the IRA. Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which is controlled by Prigozhin, provided funding to the IRA.  Concord Management and Consulting LLC was previously designated under E.O. 13661 on June 20, 2017.

Concord Catering provided material assistance to the IRA. Concord Catering, which is controlled by Prigozhin, provided funding to the IRA. OFAC previously designated Concord Catering under E.O. 13661 on June 20, 2017.

Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly Aslanov (Aslanov) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Aslanov acted as the head of the translator project, a department which focused on the United States and conducted operations on multiple social media platforms.  He also oversaw many of the operations that targeted the 2016 U.S. election.

Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva (Bogacheva) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bogacheva worked for the IRA from at least April 2014 to July 2014.  She worked on the translator project.

Maria Anatolyevna Bovda (Bovda) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bovda worked for the IRA from at least November 2013 to October 2014.  She served as the head of the translator project and held other positions within the firm.

Robert Sergeyevich Bovda (Bovda) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bovda worked for the IRA from at least November 2013 to October 2014.  He served as the deputy head of the translator project and held other positions within the firm.

Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik (Burchik) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Burchik acted as the executive director of the IRA and held the firm’s second-highest ranking position.  He was involved in operational planning, infrastructure, and personnel throughout the firm’s operations to interfere in the U.S. political system.

Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov (Bystrov) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bystrov acted as the general director of the IRA and served as the head of other entities used by the firm to mask its operations.

Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina (Kaverzina) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Kaverzina worked for the translator project and operated multiple U.S. personas that she used to post, monitor, and update social media content for the IRA.

Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova (Krylova) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Krylova worked for the IRA from at least September 2013 to November 2014, where she served as a director and was the firm’s third-highest ranking position.

Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev (Podkopaev) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Podkopaev was responsible for conducting U.S.-focused research and drafting social media content for the IRA.

Sergey Pavlovich Polozov (Polozov) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Polozov acted as the manager of the IRA’s information technology department and oversaw the procurement of U.S. servers and other computer infrastructure that masked the firm’s location when conducting operations within the United States.

Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko (Vasilchenko) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Vasilchenko worked for the IRA from at least August 2014 to September 2016, and was responsible for controlling social media content and posing as U.S. persons or U.S. grassroots organizations.

Vladimir Venkov (Venkov) acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Venkov worked for the translator project and operated multiple U.S. personas that were used to post, monitor, and update social media content for the IRA.

The Trump Administration has sanctioned more than 100 individuals and entities to date over Ukraine, including 21 individuals, 9 entities and 12 subsidiaries that are at least 50% owned by previously sanctioned Russian companies on January 26, 2018. These sanctions are in addition to other sanctioning efforts relating to Russian activities in support of North Korea, the Global Magnitsky program and the Sergei Magnitsky Act.

CAATSA SANCTIONS (H/T: Treasury)

The new designations also include 2 entities and 6 individuals allegedly operating on behalf of the Russian government.

The Trump Administration said the Federal Security Service (FSB), or Russian intelligence, knowingly engages in significant activities that undermine cybersecurity. They specifically cited their cyber tools to target Russian journalists and political opponents of the Russian government; Russian citizens and government officials; former officials from countries bordering Russia; and U.S. government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic, military, and White House personnel.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted 2 FSB officers for their involvement in the 2014 hacking of Yahoo, which impacted millions of Yahoo accounts. OFAC previously sanctioned the FSB under E.O. 13694 on December 28, 2016.

Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), or Russian military intelligence, also knowingly engages in significant activities that undermine cybersecurity. The Trump Administration claimed the GRU was directly involved in interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

The Russian military was also directly responsible for the NotPetya cyber-attack in 2017. OFAC previously sanctioned the GRU under E.O. 13694 on December 28, 2016.

Sergei Afanasyev (Afanasyev) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of February 2017, Afanasyev was a senior GRU official.

Vladimir Alexseyev (Alexseyev) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of December 2016, Alexseyev was a First Deputy Chief of the GRU. OFAC previously sanctioned Alexseyev under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Sergey Gizunov (Gizunov) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of July 2017, Gizunov was the Deputy Chief of the GRU. OFAC previously sanctioned Gizunov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Igor Korobov (Korobov) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of January 2018, Korobov was the Chief of the GRU. OFAC previously sanctioned Korobov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Igor Kostyukov (Kostyukov) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of December 2016, Kostukov was a First Deputy Chief of the GRU. OFAC previously sanctioned Kostyukov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Grigoriy Molchanov (Molchanov) acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of April 2016, Molchanov was a senior GRU official.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

People's Pundit Daily delivers reader-funded data journalism covering the latest news in politics, polls, elections, business, the economy and markets.

Latest comment

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.