US Sanctions Russians Allegedly Using Cryptocurrency to Influence Presidential Election

US Sanctions Russians Allegedly Using Cryptocurrency to Influence Presidential Election

The U.S. has sanctioned a number of Russian nationals, a Ukrainian lawmaker, and their cryptocurrency addresses for interfering with the nation’s electoral course of. The Russians are allegedly workers of a troll manufacturing unit that beforehand focused presidential candidates.

Operations to Interfere With U.S. Elections

The U.S. Department of the Treasury introduced Thursday that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has “designated 4 Russia-linked people for trying to affect the U.S. electoral course of.”

The Treasury alleges that “Russia makes use of a wide range of proxies to try to sow discord between political events and drive inside divisions to affect voters” with the intention to “undermine democratic nations and establishments.” The announcement explains that within the U.S., “Russia has used a variety of affect strategies and actors to focus on our electoral course of, together with focusing on U.S. presidential candidates.”

Three of the 4 individuals designated — Russian nationals Artem Lifshits, Anton Andreyev, and Darya Aslanova — are workers of the Russian troll manufacturing unit referred to as the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the announcement notes, including:

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They supported the IRA’s cryptocurrency accounts. The IRA makes use of cryptocurrency to fund actions in furtherance of their ongoing malign affect operations world wide.

The Treasury Department has beforehand designated the troll manufacturing unit and its Russian financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin. The latter was designated for “offering materials assist to the IRA’s affect actions towards the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.”

Lifshits was additionally individually charged by federal prosecutors Thursday. He allegedly serves “as a supervisor in ‘Project Lakhta,’ a Russia-based effort to have interaction in political and electoral interference operations,” in line with the announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The Justice Department defined that since 2014, “Project Lakhta has sought to obscure its conduct by working by quite a lot of entities,” together with the IRA. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers described:

Artem Lifshits, conspired with others to steal Americans’ identities and use them to open fraudulent financial institution and cryptocurrency accounts.

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Prosecutors say, “Lifshits and the conspirators allegedly used these fraudulently opened accounts to each promote Project Lakhta’s affect operations and for private enrichment.”

The fourth individual sanctioned on Thursday was Andrii Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament who has been an lively Russian agent for over a decade and has retained shut connections with the Russian Intelligence Services, the Treasury Department alleges. According to studies, he ran a marketing campaign towards former vice chairman and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claims that Derkach, and “different Russian brokers make use of manipulation and deceit to try to affect elections within the United States and elsewhere world wide.”

The Treasury Department’s announcement continues:

As a results of as we speak’s designations, all property and pursuits in property of those targets which might be topic to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.

The Treasury Department additionally up to date its OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) with particulars of the 4 people named above and their cryptocurrency addresses. Furthermore, “U.S. individuals are typically prohibited from participating in transactions with them,” the announcement emphasizes, declaring that “Additionally, any entities 50 p.c or extra owned by a number of designated individuals are additionally blocked.”

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According to studies, Russia has refuted the claims that it makes an attempt to intrude within the U.S. elections. Meanwhile, Microsoft has reportedly recognized hackers linked to international nations, similar to Russia, China, and Iran, trying to infiltrate each President Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s marketing campaign camps.

What do you consider the U.S. accusing Russia of interfering in its elections? Let us know within the feedback part under.

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