U.S. penalizes several Ukrainians for links to efforts targeting 2020 election


The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Monday for several Ukrainian nationals it says were linked to a pro-Russian lawmaker who worked to influence the 2020 presidential election with rumors about President-elect Joe Biden and his family members.

The new list includes nearly a dozen Ukrainian associates and companies linked to Andrii Derkach, the Russian-leaning Ukrainian lawmaker previously sanctioned by the U.S. government for trying to influence the election during the campaign.

“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.”

Mr. Derkach had met with Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, in Ukraine in late 2019, when Giuliani sought links between Biden and the government in Kiev. He later financed a document filled with falsehoods to members of Congress before the election that claimed Biden’s family had engaged in corruption in Ukraine.

“Derkach has … used a network of media professionals and assistants to support his influence campaign, which focused on cultivating false or unsubstantiated narratives and spurring corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States,” the department said.

Designated for the new sanctions are Ukraine lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky and former officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Andriy Telizhenko.

The Finance Ministry also sanctioned personnel in Derkach’s media organizations, including Dmytro Kovalchuk, Anton Simonenko, and Petro Zhuravel. U.S. officials said Zhuravel owns other news sites that are “media front companies in Ukraine spreading disinformation.”

The sanctions freeze all property and interests, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from contacting or conducting transactions with those on the list.


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