Millennium Post (Kolkata)



WASHINGTON DC: The Biden administra­tion on Thursday announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sanctions against nearly three dozen people and companies as it moved to hold the Kremlin accountabl­e for interferen­ce in last year's presidenti­al election and the hacking of federal agencies.

The actions, foreshadow­ed for weeks by the administra­tion, represent the first retaliator­y measures announced against the Kremlin for the hack, familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach.

In that intrusion, Russian hackers are believed to have infected widely used software with malicious code, enabling them to access the networks of at least nine agencies in what US officials believe was an intelligen­ce-gathering operation aimed at mining government secrets.

Besides that hack, US officials last month alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessf­ul bid for reelection as president, though there's no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes or manipulate­d the outcome.

The measures announced Thursday include sanctions on six Russian companies that support the country's cyber activities, in addition to sanctions on 32 individual­s and entities accused of attempting to interfere in last year's presidenti­al election, including by spreading disinforma­tion.

The 10 diplomats being expelled include representa­tives of Russian intelligen­ce services, the White House said.

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