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US sues Russian oligarchs and seizes Putin ally’s yacht – live | US News

The US has indicted a Russian oligarch it says is responsible for spreading the Kremlin’s misinformation around the world, as well as for seizing a megayacht owned by another ally of Vladimir Putin and millions of dollars in assets it owns possessed when the war began is responsible Ukraine let off steam.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland made the announcements at a press conference at the Justice Department today to announce measures “to prosecute Russian criminal activity.”

He also said that the US and its allies called off a massive malware attack attempt Russia intends to unleash internationally, causing unprecedented disruption to the Internet and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage worldwide.

“Our message to those who continue to support the Russian regime through their criminal behavior is: It doesn’t matter how far you sail your yacht. It doesn’t matter how well you hide your wealth. It doesn’t matter how skillful you write your malware or hide your online activities. The Justice Department will use any means available to find you, disrupt your plans, and hold you accountable,” Garland said.

Charges of conspiracy were brought against the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyevwho was previously the subject of US sanctions for spreading Russian misinformation.

Garland said he was “one of the main sources of funding for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea and for providing material support to the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.”

“After being sanctioned by the US, Malofeyev attempted to evade sanctions by using co-conspirators to covertly acquire and operate media companies across Europe.”

Garland said the U.S. seized millions of dollars from an account at a U.S. financial institution that prosecutors claim is revenue linked to Malofeyev’s sanctions violations.

Meanwhile, the $90 million megayacht Tango, owned by the Russian oligarch Victor Vekselberg, a close ally of Putin, was arrested in Mallorca on Monday. Vekselberg was sanctioned for money laundering in 2018 and again last month following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The malware attack primarily targeted small businesses with the intention of launching a massive attempted denial of service attack that would disrupt the internet internationally and cause at least $10 billion in damage.

“The global botnet [was] controlled by Russian military intelligence, commonly known as the GRU,” Garland said, noting that the Russian government had recently used similar infrastructure to attack Ukrainian targets.

“Fortunately, we were able to disrupt this botnet before it could be used. Thanks to our close cooperation with international partners, we were able to detect the infection of thousands of network hardware devices. We are then able to disable the GRU’s control over these devices before the botnet could be weaponized,” he said.

US sues Russian oligarchs and seizes Putin ally’s yacht – live | US News

Source link US sues Russian oligarchs and seizes Putin ally’s yacht – live | US News

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