WASHIGTON – The United States on Thursday has unveiled a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for its interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign. The goal of the Russian hacking campaign was to help Donald Trump win the election and, more generally, compromise and corrupt the American political process.
The Russian campaign was conducted by the FSB, the Russian domestic security service, and the GRU, the Russian military intelligence branch, and was similar in its scope and methods to the political interference campaigns Russia has conducted in several European countries. In all these cases, Russia used its considerable cyber capabilities to help right-wing populist and ethno-nationalist candidates and parties – some of them avowedly racist. All the candidates and parties which Russia has supported are fiercely anti-immigration and anti-Muslim, and all of them want to distance their countries from NATO, the EU, and the United States.
Sanctions include closure of two Russian compounds in Maryland and Staten Island as well as expelling of over thirty functionaries of the Russian intelligence from New York, Washington and San Francisco.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said Americans should “be alarmed by Russia’s actions” and pledged further action. The announcement comes weeks after the president said he would respond to cyberattacks by Moscow “at a time and place of our choosing.”