US issues more sanctions on Russia in response to alleged election hacking

Obama has issued new sanctions against Russian people and companies that the US government has accused of hacking American institutions ahead of the election.

The Treasury Department announced the new sanctions against five entities and four individuals on Thursday afternoon.

In the executive order, which Obama signed Wednesday night, the president said he was taking “additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities… in view of the increasing use of such activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions.”

The five institutions are: the Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems, an autonomous noncommercial organization; Federal Security Service (Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti or FSB); Main Intelligence Directorate (Glavnoe Razedyvatelnoe Upravelenie or GRU); Special Technology Center; and Zorsecurity, formerly known as Esage Lab or Tsor Security.

The four people are Vladimir Stepanovich Alexseyev, the first deputy chief of the GRU; Aleksey Alekseyevich Belan; Evgeniy Mikhaylovich Bogachev; Sergey Gizunov, the deputy chief of the GRU; Igor Korobov, chief of the GRU; and Igor Kostyukov, the first deputy chief of the GRU.

The US has also expelled 35 Russian intelligence operatives, giving them 72 hours to leave the country, in response to harassment of US diplomats in Moscow, the White House announced.


“These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities,” the president warned, adding that the US still has a number of tools in its arsenal that it can use “at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.”

The administration will also provide a report to Congress “about Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election, as well as malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections,” Obama said.

President-elect Donald Trump spoke to journalists about reports of the impending sanctions outside his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.
“I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly,” Trump said. “The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”

Russia has repeatedly denied any accusations that it interfered with the elections in any way.