Ukrainian individuals, entities sanctioned over US poll interference

The US Treasury Department has announced sanctions against seven Ukrainian individuals and four entities “that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network” and accused them of interfering in November 3, 2020, American presidential election.

In a statement on Monday, the Department said that the designated individuals and entities were part of the Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach, who had been blacklisted in September 2020 for his attempt to influence the election, Xinhua news agency.

“Since at least 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged US media, U.-based social media platforms, and influential US persons to spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former US officials engaged in corruption, money laundering, and unlawful political influence in Ukraine,” it said.

The blacklisted individuals include Ukrainian government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, and current MP Oleksandr Dubinsky.

According to the Department, the individuals “have publicly appeared or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate”.

“They have made repeated public statements to advance disinformation narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.”

The sanctioned entities include NabuLeaks and Era-Media TOV, which are “media front companies in Ukraine that push false narratives at Derkach’s behest”.

“Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The US will continue to aggressively defend the integrity of our election systems and processes.”

According to the statement, all property and interests of the property of designated individuals and entities in America have been blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from transactions with them.

US officials in November said that the 2020 presidential election is the most secure election in the country’s history.

“We have no indications that a foreign actor has succeeded in compromising or affecting the actual votes cast in this election,” said Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.