WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has sanctioned 15 members of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for taking part in alleged malign activities, including the 2016 US election meddling, hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the US Treasury Department said Wednesday.
"Today’s action also includes the designation of 15 members of the GRU, a previously designated Russian military intelligence organization, for their involvement in a wide range of malign activity, including attempting to interfere in the 2016 US election, efforts to undermine international organizations through cyber-enabled means, and an assassination attempt in the United Kingdom," the release said.
The nine GRU officers accused of interfering with the US 2016 election, who now face charges under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), include Viktor Netysho, Boris Antonov, Ivan Yermakov, Aleksey Lukashev, Nikolay Kozachek, Artem Malyshev, Aleksandr Osadchuk, Aleksey Potemkin and Anatoliy Kovalev.
The release said Russian hackers targeted the World Abno-Doping Agency (WADA), and the Treasury Department sanctioned GRU officers Oleg Sotnikov and Aleey Minin who it says played a key role in compromising the WADA database.
The United States has sanctioned Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov over their alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack against former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom.
The UK-based Bellingcat project claimed that it had identified Boshirov as Russian military intelligence colonel Anatoliy Chepiga and suggested that Petrov was actually a military doctor Alexander Mishkin.
Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations of meddling in the 2016 US election, attacking the Skripaks and hacking the WADA.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
does not correspond with the subject of the post;
promotes hatred and discrimination on racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or social basis or violates the rights of minorities;
violates the rights of minors, causing them harm in any form, including moral damage;
contains ideas of extremist nature or calls for other illegal activities;
contains insults, threats to other users, individuals or specific organizations, denigrates dignity or undermines business reputations;
contains insults or messages expressing disrespect to Sputnik;
violates privacy, distributes personal data of third parties without their consent or violates privacy of correspondence;
describes or references scenes of violence, cruelty to animals;
contains information about methods of suicide, incites to commit suicide;
pursues commercial objectives, contains improper advertising, unlawful political advertisement or links to other online resources containing such information;
promotes products or services of third parties without proper authorization;
contains offensive language or profanity and its derivatives, as well as hints of the use of lexical items falling within this definition;
contains spam, advertises spamming, mass mailing services and promotes get-rich-quick schemes;
promotes the use of narcotic / psychotropic substances, provides information on their production and use;
contains links to viruses and malicious software;
is part of an organized action involving large volumes of comments with identical or similar content ("flash mob");
“floods” the discussion thread with a large number of incoherent or irrelevant messages;
violates etiquette, exhibiting any form of aggressive, humiliating or abusive behavior ("trolling");
doesn’t follow standard rules of the English language, for example, is typed fully or mostly in capital letters or isn’t broken down into sentences.
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.