The Treasury Department announced a new spate of sanctions on Monday targeting the “inner circle” of Andrii Derkach, the pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker who aided Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to probe unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing by President-elect Joe Biden and his family.
The department had previously designated Derkach himself for sanctions related to foreign interference in the 2020 election in September. But on Monday, the department “took additional action against seven individuals and four entities” that it alleged were “part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network” associated with him.
“Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “The United States will continue to aggressively defend the integrity of our election systems and processes.”
In his own statement acknowledging the sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Derkach “has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close connections with Russian intelligence services.”
Those designated for sanctions on Monday included former Ukrainian government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Andriy Telizhenko, as well as current Ukrainain lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky.
Also designated for sanctions were Petro Zhuravel, a “key member of Derkach’s media team;” Dmytro Kovalchuk, a “long-time supporter” of Derkach who assisted with his media efforts; and Anton Simonenko, who “served as Derkach’s assistant for nearly a decade and helped Derkach hide financial assets,” according to the Treasury Department.
Derkach met with Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, in Kyiv in December 2019. He is also suspected of sending packets of disinformation on the Bidens to prominent Trump allies around the same time. And in August 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence accused Derkach of being part of the Russian government’s efforts to damage Biden’s presidential candidacy.
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