The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently sanctioned Russian nationals Ilya Andreevich Gambashidze and Nikolai Aleksandrovich Tupikin [4], along with their companies [4], Social Design Agency and Company Group Structura [3], for their involvement in aiding the Russian government in foreign malign influence campaigns [1].


These campaigns, directed by the Russian Presidential Administration [1] [2] [3] [5], included creating over 60 fake websites and social media accounts to spread misinformation and deceive voters, as well as impersonating European media outlets. The sanctioned individuals and entities were part of a persistent foreign malign influence campaign that aimed to mislead voters and undermine trust in democratic institutions in the United States and around the world. OFAC’s actions involved blocking their property and interests in the US [1], with financial institutions facing sanctions for engaging with them [1]. Additionally, two USDT addresses were designated, leading to Tether freezing Gambashidze’s wallets [4]. This move is part of OFAC’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation campaigns and protect against illicit actors, disrupt disinformation [4], and preserve election integrity globally [4]. President Joe Biden announced 500 sanctions against Russia for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the death of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny [2], with the Treasury Department joining the State Department to impose those sanctions [2]. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the need for Congress to provide Ukraine with the aid it needs to defend against Russian aggression [2]. The Chainalysis 2024 Crypto Crime Report provides further insights into crypto-related illicit activities [4].


The sanctions imposed by OFAC on Russian individuals and entities involved in foreign malign influence campaigns highlight the ongoing efforts to combat disinformation and protect election integrity. The need for continued vigilance and cooperation to mitigate the impact of such campaigns is crucial in safeguarding democratic institutions globally.