US Imposes Sanctions On Russia, Expels 35 Officials Over Hacking

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The United State government has announced a wide range of economic sanctions, diplomatic censure and public “naming and shaming” against Russia for its alleged interference and hacking in the US presidential election.

President Obama, who announced the wide swath of retaliatory measures against Russia also hinted at possible covert cyber measures, but did not provide details.

As part of the retaliatory measures, Obama also ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctioned Russian intelligence officials who Washington believes were involved in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama said the State Department declared as “persona non grata” 35 Russian intelligence operatives and is closing two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that were used by Russian personnel for “intelligence-related purposes”.

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The sanctions target two of Russia’s main intelligence organizations — the GRU and the FSB — four individual GRU officers, and three companies who provided support to the GRU.

Both organisations, the FSB and the GRU, are believed to have carried out the attacks.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, is the main successor to the KGB — once headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Further, Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI will declassify “technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity” to help networks defend against “Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.”

The president also signalled that the U.S. will undertake some covert action against Russia.

“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” Obama said in a statement from vacation in Hawaii.

“These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities,” Obama said in a statement.

“We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.

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