Jan 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. sanctions 7 more Ukrainian officials for "Russia-linked" election interference

Photo illustration of Joe Biden, St. Basil Cathedral, and “I voted” sticker pattern
Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Mark Reinstein/Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned seven more people on Monday as part of an alleged "Russia-linked foreign influence network" associated with a Ukrainian lawmaker accused of trying to interfere in the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, a former associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, was accused by the U.S. of being "an active Russian agent for over a decade" and promoting "false and unsubstantiated" allegations targeting Joe Biden.

What they're saying: The Treasury and State Department identified former Ukraine officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko and Oleksandr Dubinsky — a current member of the Ukrainian parliament — as part of a "coordinated" effort to spread "unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate."

  • The other three individuals were described as members of Derkach's media team or personal assistants to him.

Flashback: Derkach reportedly met with Giuliani in December 2019 in Kiev, as first reported by the New York Times, "to discuss investigating the Biden family," which President Trump called for Ukraine and China to do earlier that same year.

  • Giuliani told NBC News last October that he was unaware that Derkach was a Russian agent and downplayed his work with the Ukrainian lawmaker.

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