Wednesday, January 27, 2021

U.S. sanctions Ukraine officers linked to Giuliani ally for meddling in 2020 election

Central sq. in Kiev, Ukraine

Arthur Zych / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Pictures

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday slapped sanctions on seven Kremlin-linked people and 4 entities for making an attempt to intrude within the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

The U.S. Treasury Division described the focused sanctions because the “inside circle” of Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, who was sanctioned final yr. Derkach has beforehand labored with Rudy Giuliani to dig up damaging data on President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, President-elect Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. 

“Since a minimum of 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged U.S. media, U.S.-based social media platforms, and influential U.S. individuals to unfold deceptive and unsubstantiated allegations that present and former U.S. officers engaged in corruption, cash laundering, and illegal political affect in Ukraine,” Treasury wrote in a press release.

Giuliani has acted as a private lawyer for Trump, and his efforts to get Ukraine to launch an investigation into the Bidens led to Trump’s impeachment over a yr in the past after the president withheld navy help to Ukraine whereas asking for such a probe.

“Russian disinformation campaigns concentrating on Americans are a menace to our democracy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a press release Monday with out naming Biden or Trump. “America will proceed to aggressively defend the integrity of our election methods and processes.”

In September, Treasury imposed sanctions on Derkach, describing him as an “energetic Russian agent for over a decade” with shut connections to Russian intelligence companies.

“From a minimum of late 2019 by way of mid-2020, Derkach waged a covert affect marketing campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives regarding U.S. officers within the upcoming 2020 presidential election,” Treasury wrote in a press release on the time.

Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach attends a information convention titled “Publication of information of strain of U.S. Embassy on Ukraine’s regulation enforcement companies to intrude in electoral course of in U.S.”, in Kiev, Ukraine October 9, 2019.

Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Treasury sanctioned three former Ukrainian authorities officers, Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Andriy Telizhenko, in addition to Oleksandr Dubinsky, who’s a present member of the Ukrainian parliament for publicly affiliating themselves with Derkach.

Kulyk, a former prosecutor for the Ukrainian authorities, labored with Derkach to unfold false accusations of worldwide corruption, in line with Treasury.

Onyshchenko offered Derkach with edited audio recordings of purported conversations between former Ukrainian and U.S. officers. The recordings have been later launched by Derkach with a view to discredit U.S. officers and the integrity of U.S. elections.

Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat, orchestrated conferences between Derkach and U.S. people to debate learn how to propagate false claims.

Dubinsky, who serves alongside Derkach in Ukraine’s parliament, has beforehand perpetuated “false narratives” that have been designed to “denigrate U.S. presidential candidates and their households,” in line with Treasury.

Treasury additionally sanctioned NabuLeaks, Period-Media TOV, Solely Information and Skeptik TOV, which have been described as “media entrance firms in Ukraine that push false narratives at Derkach’s behest.”

Treasury additionally took goal at Petro Zhuravel, Dmytro Kovalchuk and Anton Simonenk, who labored for Derkach.

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