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US Sanctions More Russians for 'Malign Activities'

By VOA News December 19, 2018

The Trump administration is slapping more sanctions on Russian officials and entities for election interference and what the Treasury Department calls other "malign activities."

They include the alleged assassination attempt by poison of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

"The United States will continue to work with international allies and partners to take their collective action to deter and defend against sustained malign activity by Russia, its proxies, and intelligence agencies," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday.

Among those sanctioned are 15 military intelligence agents and four government entities, including the Internet Research Agency.

A new report this week prepared for the U.S. Senate says the IRA used every major social media platform to try to influence voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump in 2016, and send misinformation to voters unlikely to back Trump to discourage them from voting.

Those sanctioned Wednesday are also accused of hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and other nonpolitical agencies.

Two Russian intelligence officers are also sanctioned for allegedly using a chemical agent to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, last March in Salisbury, England.

Both were hospitalized and survived.

U.S. citizens are barred from doing business with sanctioned individuals or entitles, and any assets they have in the United States are frozen.

Treasury said the Trump administration has so far sanctioned 272 Russians and entities for "a broad range of malign activities."

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