Sanctions levied against Russia-linked network for attempts to influence 2020 election

2020 election

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The United States is imposing sanctions on seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach, who was designated on Sept. 10 for his attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election.

Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close connections with Russian intelligence services.

Former Ukraine government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko and current member of the Ukrainian parliament, Oleksandr Dubinsky, have publicly appeared with or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent or unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate.

They have made repeated public statements advancing malicious narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine. These efforts and narratives are consistent with or in support of Derkach’s objectives to influence the 2020 presidential election.

As such, these individuals have been designated for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign influence in an attempt to undermine the 2020 U.S. elections.

NabuLeaks, Era-Media, Only News, and Skeptik TOV are media front companies in Ukraine that disseminate false narratives at the behest of Derkach’s and his associates. They are being designated for being owned or controlled by Derkach or his media team.

Today’s action also includes the designation of Petro Zhuravel, Dmytro Kovalchuk, and Anton Simonenko for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Derkach.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), incoming chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today released the following statement regarding the sanctions:

“Even as our attention turns to the real-world impacts of domestic-led disinformation campaigns, we cannot forget that our foreign adversaries have relied upon many of the same tactics. Moreover, much of the false information spread about President-elect Biden during and since the campaign had its roots in the entities being sanctioned today, as we saw Russian entities seed or amplify dangerous narratives that gained significant traction in far-right media. We must redouble efforts to build public confidence in our democratic process and work to develop reforms that make our information ecosystem more resilient to disinformation and wider exploitation efforts.”


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