US sanctions two Russians for malign influence operations

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The US Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on two Russian individuals and four entities it accused of supporting the Kremlin’s global malign influence and election interference operations, including in the United States and Ukraine.

“The individuals and entities designated today played various roles in Russia’s attempts to manipulate and destabilize the United States and its allies and partners, including Ukraine,” the Treasury said in a statement.

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It named the individuals as Russians Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov and Natalya Valeryevna Burlinova and the entities as Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), Ionov Transkontinental, STOP-Imperialism and the Center for Support and Development of Public Initiative Creative Diplomacy (PICREADI).

The Treasury accused Ionov of being a “co-optee” of the FSB, saying he had coordinated with the Russian intelligence agency since at least the summer of 2020 to identify “socio-political points of contention within the United States.”

“He provided support, usually in the form of monetary donations, to organizations that he and Russia’s intelligence services believed would create socio-political disturbances in the United States,” the Treasury said.

The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment on the US sanctions, which block the property and interests in property of those designated that fall under US jurisdiction.

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