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US Sanctions Two Individuals And Entities From Russia For ‘maligns Campaigns’ Posing As News Outlets

The United States imposes sanctions on various firms and individuals that provide services to the Russian government about a malign influence campaign.

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The US enhances its scrutiny and has announced new sanctions no longer solely against two individuals but two organizations that are seen to be deeply linked to the “Russian disinformation campaign” that accompanied multiple fake news sites, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday.

The ‘persons designated are Mr. Ilya Andreyevich Gambashankazi, owner of SDA and CEO of a Russian-connected firm Nikolay Aleksandrovich Tupikin.’

Gambashidze and Nikolay are accused of having initiated at least 60 websites that represent other authentic media centers and simultaneously spread fake news on social media platforms and subsequently lead the audience to these false sites.

Russian Malicious Campaign

According to American-based experts in disinformation, there are hundreds of sites that look like news outlets that have mysteriously “appeared” on the web over the past few months, a large amount of them emanating from AI-enabled artificial sources, that have been indiscriminately broadcasting hundreds of lies on all sorts of issues, such as war, democracy, and politics.

“The fake websites were created to carefully ‘copy the design, and layout ‘of real news sites, also included pictures and working links to the authentic sites,” according to the US Treasury Department.

The treasury asserted that “Russia uses an array of strategies such as intelligence services, proxies, and influence tools among others for its alleged anti-democratic practices.”

The restrictive measures coincide as the relations between the US and Russia are steadily worsening in the wake of the Ukrainian invasion, which was launched and is still being maintained by Russia for three years.

Background Of Non-Democratic Efforts

In 2023, in October, the U.S. Government made a report, which stated that Russia’s spies, social networking sites, and media from state-owned agencies were employed to stir doubts in the worldwide elections.

The American Government made this information available to more than 100 other countries.

The US Treasury emphasized that the wrong behind Russia’s actions reaches well beyond the United States’ borders and affects its allies not only in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The US has repeatedly charged the Kremlin with what it calls global “malign influence campaigns” that are geared towards creating instability in democratic countries.

Read Also: Russia Declares Sanctions On Over 200 US Citizens For “Russophobia”

Current Sanctions Implication

The last penalty will be a hamper to the companies’ assets and anyone from the US who interacts with this entity will be subject to severe consequences.

The US -State Department spokesperson- Mr. Matthew Miller stated “We will target the ‘Kremlin’s malign campaigns,’ that manipulate media and public opinion. Our main effort is to expose Russia’s ongoing campaigns and deconstruct their ideas. The USA will keep going on the path of preventing the Russian authorities from destabilizing the global democracies by secret interference.”

Brian E. Nelson, the assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, declared that the Department is “dedicated to unmasking various instances of government-directed propaganda or disinformation”.

This is the most recent sanction imposed by the U.S. government on Russia-supported operatives that have been accredited of participating in Russia’s information warfare and information.

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Published Date

March 21, 2024

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