US targets two Russian spies it says tried to influence local US election

Jun 23, 2023
The United States Department of the Treasury is seen in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States slapped sanctions on Friday on two Russian intelligence officers who attempted to interfere in a local American election as part of Moscow’s “global malign influence operations,” the Treasury Department said.

The two officers, Yegor Sergeyevich Popov and Aleksei Borisovich Sukhodolov, both members of Russia’s Federal Security Service, have worked to undermine democratic processes in the U.S. and other countries through a network of co-conspirators, the department said in a statement.

The department said both have worked with Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a Russian the U.S. Justice Department charged last year with conducting a multi-year effort to use political groups in Florida, Georgia and California to interfere in elections.

“The United States will not tolerate threats to our democracy, and today’s action builds on the whole of government approach to protect our system of representative government,” Treasury official Brian Nelson said.

The department did not say what specific election the two Russian men are accused of attempting to influence.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Jasper Ward; Writing by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Tim Ahmann)