U.S. blacklists Russian-linked ‘disinformation network’ over alleged interference in 2020 polls

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New York, Jan. 11, 2021 The United States has sanctioned seven former and current Ukrainian officials, and four media organisations over alleged attempt to influence the 2020 presidential elections.

Announcing the action in a statement on Monday, Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said the affected persons and entities were part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach.

Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker, who admitted to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in 2018 that he was a Russian spy, is under U.S. sanction over the same issue.

Pompeo identified the four Ukrainians affected in the latest action as Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko and Oleksandr Dubinsky, a current member of the Ukrainian parliament.

He alleged that they had publicly identified with Derkach through “coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent or unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate.”

Pompeo said: “Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close connections with Russian intelligence services.

“They (new targets) have made repeated public statements advancing malicious narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.

“These efforts and narratives are consistent with or in support of Derkach’s objectives to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“As such, these individuals have been designated for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign influence in an attempt to undermine the 2020 U.S. elections.”

The Secretary of State named the three other individuals as Petro Zhuravel, Dmytro Kovalchuk and Anton Simonenko.

He accused them of having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of Derkach.”

According to him, the four media companies: NabuLeaks, Era-Media, Only News, and Skeptik TOV, are involved in the dissemination of “false narratives” at instance of Derkach and his associates in Ukraine.

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