US Hacking Sanctions– In what Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, considers “appropriate and better late than never”, Barack Obama who has 3 weeks left in the White House, has expelled 35 Russian intelligence operatives, giving them 72 hours to leave the United States.
The order was made last Thursday in reaction to the strong allegation of the Presidency and security agencies that Russia interfered in the United States Elections.
Obama admits that he is not of the opinion that the just concluded election was rigged. However he finds it disturbing and views it a national slight on the democratic governance of the US that Russia on Kremlin orders hacked into top political United States files.
Obama has no iota of doubt that Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking. In line with the suspicion, detected finger prints in the Hacking investigation points to Russia.
As it is fast becoming an open secret that Russia is responsible for the hacking, Putin’s Kremlin denies the allegation.
Also contained in the official statement ordering the Russian diplomats to leave the US with their families latest on New Year’s day, were more sanctions.
Obama wants the technical information from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI hold on Russian hacking capabilities revealed to the public.
2 Russian compounds- in New York and in Maryland, which he said had been used for intelligence-related purposes has been shut down.
Obama also introduced financial sanctions on the two Russian spy agencies- the GRU and the FSB; and 3 companies said to have provided ‘material support’ for the GRU’s hacking.
Still in denial, Russia is getting back at the United States for the Hacking sanctions. Russia has reportedly shut down the Anglo-American School of Moscow, a facility for the children of American, British, and Canadian diplomats.