Washington: The United States President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday struck back at Russia for hacking the US presidential campaign with a sweeping set of punishments targeting Russia’s spy agencies and diplomats.
In recent months, the FBI and CIA have concluded that Russia intervened repeatedly in the 2016 election, leaking damaging information in an attempt to undermine the electoral process and help Donald Trump take the White House.
The measures include new sanctions, expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S and closure of two Russian establishments in the country.
Under the new sanctions, Obama has kicked 35 Russian intelligence operatives out of the US and forced the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York. These are very real consequences.
The new measures include sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies that are believed to have provided support for government cyber operations, and four Russian cyber officials. The two agencies named are the GRU, Russia’s military spy service, and the FSB, the civilian spy agency that grew out of the KGB.
Notably, US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was trying to help Trump win when hackers connected to the government breached Democratic Party computers and stole tens of thousands of emails that were then posted on WikiLeaks, some containing embarrassing information for Democrats. Clinton aide John Podesta’s emails were also stolen and released publicly in the final weeks of the campaign.