Sunday, August 1, 2021

US expels 10 Russian diplomats, imposes sanctions over election interference, hacking

United States has announced to expel 10 Russian diplomats and impose sanctions against dozens of companies and other people, holding them accountable for interference in last year’s Presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies. President Joe Biden said that US cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in its democratic process with impunity. Sanctions against six Russian companies that support the country’s cyber efforts represent the first retaliatory measures against the Kremlin for the hack familiarly known as the Solar Winds breach, with the US explicitly linking the intrusion to the SVR, a Russian intelligence agency.

United States also announced sanctions on 32 individuals and entities accused of attempting to interfere in last year’s presidential election, including by spreading disinformation. US officials alleged in a declassified report last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as president, though there’s no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes.

Russia has denied all allegations and said it will respond in kind. The sanctions come at a tense time for relations between the two countries.

Last month, the US targeted seven Russian officials and more than a dozen government entities over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Russia says it was not involved.

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