The US Sanctions 4 Ukrainian government officials for working with Russia to destabilize Ukraine. According to the US Treasury Department, the four individuals were involved in different roles as part of a concerted influence campaign to destabilize the nation. While the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s national security authority was found recruiting Ukrainians in key positions to create instability.
Two of the Ukrainian officials, Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn, had been working to amplify false narratives and undermine confidence in the Ukrainian government. While Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, was trying to build support for Ukraine to officially cede Crimea to Russia.
The Treasury Department said, “Russia has directed its intelligence services to recruit current and former Ukrainian government officials to prepare to take over the government of Ukraine and to control Ukraine’s critical infrastructure with an occupying Russian force.”
The fourth Ukrainian official, Volodymyr Oliynyk, acted in cohorts with the FSB in 2021 to collect information pertaining to critical infrastructure in the country. This was later used by Russian-backed state hackers to wage a cyberwar against the country.
The agency further added, “As Russia has pursued broad cyber operations against critical infrastructure, it has focused on disrupting one critical infrastructure sector in particular: Ukraine’s energy sector.”
The sanctions come in the middle of the mounting tension with Russia preparing to invade Ukraine. No less than 70 Ukrainian government agencies and private sector organizations have been victim to a coordinated digital assault for almost a week, that saw the websites defaced and destructive malware deployed.
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