Vladamir Putin

The White House has announced sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of Russian diplomats in response to Moscow’s interference in US elections and the cyber breach to vital federal government agencies last year.

The measures announced Thursday include sanctions on six Russian companies that support the country’s cyber activities and on 32 entities and individuals for disinformation campaigns and carrying on government interference in the 2020 US presidential election. The executive order also expels 10 Russian diplomats, some of whom are suspected intelligence officers.

The announcement includes the first retaliatory measures against Moscow for the cyberhack known as the “SolarWinds” breach, in which Russian hackers are believed to have used malicious code that enabled them to access the networks of at least nine US agencies and US companies. The US additionally named the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service and several connected entities as being responsible for SolarWinds. US officials believe this was an intelligence-gathering operation.