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US sanctions target Russian global influence and election interference

Author: Syedur Rahman  11 August 2022

Syed Rahman of Rahman Ravelli summarises the latest round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US.

 The US government has said its recently-announced sanctions targeting Russia are designed to tackle that country’s global "malign influence" and election interference operations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear that the latest wave of sanctions is separate and distinct from the measures that the US continues to impose on Russia's economy and financial system in response to its invasion of Ukraine

The sanctions specifically target individuals and entities that, according to the US government, “support the Kremlin's global malign influence operations and election interference activities." Blinken stated that the six subjects of sanctions have "played various roles in Russia's attempts to manipulate the United States and our allies and partners, including Ukraine."

One of the individuals sanctioned is Russian national Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, who has also been charged by the US Department of Justice over allegedly "orchestrating a years-long foreign malign influence campaign that used various US political groups to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States."

The US has accused Ionov of maintaining connections with separatists and anti-establishment groups in the US and abroad, in his role as president and founder of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia. The US says this organisation has received funding from Russia's National Charity Fund, which was created by Russian President Vladimir Putin and gathers money from Russia's state-owned companies and oligarchs. Two companies that Ionov owns and controls were sanctioned, as was the body called STOP-Imperialism, which the Treasury Department says he has used to spread disinformation.

A Russian national, Natalya Valeryevna Burlinova, and her organisation, the Center for Support and Development of Public Initiative Creative Diplomacy have also been sanctioned. The US has accused Burlinova of being funded and directed by the Russian government.

The latest sanctions came just hours after the US State Department's Rewards for Justice programme announced a reward of up to $10 million for information on the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency, its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, - who the US views as a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin – and what the US calls “linked Russian entities and associates’’, for their involvement in interference in US elections.

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Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, international arbitration, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.

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