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Barack Obama orders sanctions against Russia over election ‘interference’

Closes two "recreational facilities" linked to Russia
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Barack Obama has ordered sanctions against Russia, expelling 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for ‘interference’ during the 2016 US election.

The Obama administration has also imposed sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services including four top officers of those services, a military intelligence unit known as the G.R.U.

READ: The full original report (PDF)

Officials have said that the expulsion of the 35 diplomates is a direct result to harassment of American diplomats in Russia.

Two “recreational facilities” in New York and Maryland will also be closed, which were being used for Russian intelligence activities, officials said.

The administration has stopped short of saying whether or not these services were used in the election-related hacks.

Samples of malware and other evidence of Russian cyberactivity were also released by United States officials, which include IP addresses linked to Russian-based computers launching attacks.

It will now be up to Donald Trump to decide whether to lift the sanctions when he takes office next month.  If he does lift the sanctions, it would require him to reject the findings of the United States’ intelligence agencies.

Trump commented on reports of the impending sanctions Wednesday night, saying “I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”

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