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White House imposes sanctions on 19 Russians for meddling in election

The White House also accused Russia of trying to penetrate the US energy grid.

The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in the 2016 US election, including 13 indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The penalties also include the first use of new powers that Congress passed last year to punish Moscow for election meddling. Those targets include officials working for the Russian military intelligence agency, GRU.

The Trump administration has also accused Russia of a deliberate operation to penetrate the US energy grid which is still continuing.

The Treasury Department said the GRU and Russia’s military both interfered in the American election and were “directly responsible” for the NotPetya cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe in June 2017.

Those included in the Mueller indictment include Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has become known as the chef to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The administration is also targeting the Internet Research Agency that Mr Mueller says orchestrated much of the cybermeddling in the presidential election.

National security officials say the FBI, the Homeland Security Department and intelligence agencies have determined that Russian intelligence and others are behind attacks on the American energy sector.

The officials say the Russians obtained access to the energy system and “conducted network reconnaissance” of industrial control systems that run US factories and the electricity grid.

The officials say they have helped companies kick the Russians out of all systems currently known to have been penetrated.

The US is sending an alert to energy companies to raise threat awareness.


From Belfast Telegraph