This past Thursday, officials with the United States Treasury Department issued sanctions against four Ukrainian officials who stand accused of offering assistance to Russia.
These Treasury Department officials stated as part of a press release that it “sanctioned four individuals engaged in Russian government-directed influence activities to destabilize Ukraine.”
The Department also went on to say that the “action is intended to target, undermine, and expose Russia’s ongoing destabilization effort in Ukraine” and it is “separate and distinct from the broad range of high impact measures the United States and its Allies and partners are prepared to impose in order to inflict significant costs on the Russian economy and financial system if it were to further invade Ukraine.”
It also stated that the four individuals take orders at the bidding of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB is a known service centered around the task of counterintelligence, which has already been sanctioned by the U.S. The FSB has been considered by most to be just the modern-day equivalent of the KGB. These individuals also seem to show “support [for] Russia-directed influence operations against the United States and its allies and partners.”
The four individuals have worked on “in Russia’s global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin’s political objectives,” it stated.
The report also went on to highlight that various Russian intelligence operations, including those like the FSB, routinely make use of Ukrainian citizens in high places to allow access “to sensitive information, threaten the sovereignty of Ukraine, and then leverage these Ukrainian officials to create instability in advance of a potential Russian invasion.”
The group being sanctioned include two “FSB pawns,” who happen to be ranking members of the Ukrainian Parliament. The other pair are former authorities in Ukraine that are supporting Russia and who are connected to the FSB.
As reported by The Associated Press, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, stated that these four people were central to a kremlin plan that started back in 2020 “to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian state to independently function.”
It was also stated by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo that “The United States is taking action to expose and counter Russia’s dangerous and threatening campaign of influence and disinformation in Ukraine” before going on to add that “We are committed to taking steps to hold Russia accountable for their destabilizing actions.”
All of this takes place in the wake of Old Uncle Joe being slammed with criticism for his statements regarding the escalation of the disagreement between Russia and the Ukraine that took place on Wednesday.
“I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades,” stated Biden. “And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.”