US sanctions Russian intelligence officers over elections interference

Jun 23, 2023, 10:28 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Friday imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence officers who supervised two officers who were recently indicted by the Justice Department for their involvement in the Kremlin’s attempts to influence a local election in the United States.

Yegor Popov, a Russian intelligence officer, was sanctioned Friday. He served as a primary handler of Alexander Ionov, a Russian operative who was charged by the Justice Department last year with recruiting political groups in the U.S. to advance pro-Russia propaganda, including about the invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. authorities say Ionov recruited political groups in Florida, Georgia and California and directed them to spread pro-Russia talking points. Ionov, who operated an entity called the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, paid for group members to attend government-funded conferences in Russia, as well as a protest in the U.S. against social media efforts to suppress online support for the invasion.

Popov also communicated with Russian national Natalia Burlinova, who was charged in April with conspiring with Russian intelligence to recruit American academics and researchers to attend programs that advanced Russian interests.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also sanctioned Alexei Sukhodolov, who supervised Popov. Sukhodolov also worked with Ionov to conduct foreign malign influence operations around the world, including in the U.S., Ukraine, Spain, the U.K. and Ireland, according to Treasury.

The department said Russia’s efforts to influence elections includes using front organizations, seeking access to foreign officials, and recruiting people around the world “who are positioned to amplify and reinforce Russia’s disinformation efforts to further its goals of destabilizing democratic societies.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “to safeguard our democracy, as well as help protect our allies and partners, the United States will continue to act to deter and disrupt the Kremlin’s malign influence operations.”

Brian Nelson, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Russia “continues to target a key pillar of democracy around the world — free and fair elections.”

“The United States will not tolerate threats to our democracy, and today’s action builds on the whole of government approach to protect our system of representative government, including our democratic institutions and elections processes,” he said.

The threat of foreign nations seeking to meddle in U.S. elections remains a top concern.

Since the 2016 election and the detection of Russian hackers scanning state voter registration systems, election officials across federal, state and local levels have been working to shore up their defenses. Congress has provided funds to assist with boosting security in state and local election offices.

Although there has been no evidence of any voting system data being manipulated or changed, Iranian hackers in 2020 obtained confidential voter data and used it to send misleading emails seeking to spread misinformation and influence the election. Another attempt by Iranian hackers in 2020 to access a system used by a local government to publish election results was thwarted.


Cassidy reported from Atlanta.

United States News

Associated Press

Atlanta will pay $3.75M to family of Nebraska man who died after being handcuffed and held face down

ATLANTA (AP) — The city of Atlanta will pay $3.75 million to the family of a Nebraska man who died after police handcuffed him face down. The City Council approved the settlement Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, after the Fulton County medical examiner determined that Ricardo Dorado Jr.’s death on Aug. 21, 2022 was a […]

48 minutes ago

Associated Press

2 Army soldiers killed, 12 injured in crash of military transport vehicle in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two U.S. Army soldiers were killed and 12 others injured after a military transport vehicle flipped on a dirt road leading to a training area in Alaska, officials said. The single-vehicle accident happened Monday as the soldiers headed to the Yukon Training Area near Salcha, or about 30 miles (48 kilometers) […]

49 minutes ago

File - Construction workers move equipment on Jan. 17, 2023, in New York. On Tuesday, the Labor Dep...

Associated Press

Another sign that the US job market remains hot after US job openings rise unexpectedly in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings rose unexpectedly in August, another sign the U.S. labor market remains strong in the face of higher interest rates. American employers posted 9.6 million job openings in August, up from 8.9 million in July, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected only another 8.9 million vacancies. The number […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stellantis recalls nearly 273,000 Ram trucks because the rear view camera image may show on screen

DETROIT (AP) — Stellantis is recalling nearly 273,000 trucks in the U.S. because the radio software can stop the rear view camera image from being displayed. The recall a nnounced Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators covers certain Ram 1500 pickup trucks and some Ram 3500 chassis cabs from the 2022 and 2023 model years. Also […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Parents will stand trial in 2021 Michigan school shooting that killed 4 students

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court turned down an appeal Tuesday, clearing the way for the parents of the Oxford High School shooter to face trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. James and Jennifer Crumbley are accused of making a gun available to Ethan Crumbley and ignoring his mental health needs. The state appeals court […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

11-year-old shoots, injures 2 teens following altercation at Florida Pop Warner football practice

APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy retrieved a gun from an unlocked box in his mother’s vehicle and shot two 13-year-olds following an altercation that began during a Pop Warner football practice in central Florida, police said Tuesday. The child fired one shot on Monday night, hitting one teen in the arm and the […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

US sanctions Russian intelligence officers over elections interference