Nine officers for Russia’s Main Intelligence Director (GRU) were sanctioned for playing a role in undermining the election.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said they were engaged in cyberactivities that targeted election systems and political parties. It said they released stolen documents related to the election, using online personas, and promoted their spread on social media accounts operated by the GRU.
Treasury also sanctioned the chief accountant for a Russian company that took part in the information war by producing English language news sites such as USA Really, which played up divisive political issues and attempted to stage a political rally in the United States.
In addition, Treasury imposed sanctions on Alexander Petrov and Rusian Boshirov, two GRU officers who have been accusing of attempting to assassinate Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, last year.
Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter fell gravely ill after being exposed to a military grade nerve agent called Novichok. Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Canada have all concluded that the Russian government was responsible for the attack. The Kremlin has denied involvement.
British police have charged Petrov and Boshirov with conspiracy to murder the Skripals and a British detective who also fell ill after being exposed to the nerve agent.
Also among the individuals who were sanctioned is a former GRU officer who gave money to a political party in Montenegro before its 2016 elections. The Treasury Department said Victor Boyarkin was acting on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Kremlin-connected oligarch who despite being sanctioned has been invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
At the same time, the Treasury Department lifted sanctions on three companies after the companies agreed to diminish Deripaska’s holdings or sever his control over the companies.
Two GRU agents were sanctioned for playing a role in hacking into the databases of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
WADA exposed Russia’s state-sponsored doping program for athletes, and the Russian hacking exposed confidential medical data of professional athletes, Treasury said.
The OPCW assisted in investigating the Skripal attack and the use of chemical weapons in Syria, where Moscow has provided military backing for the government.