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US Sanctions Russian Companies Involved in 'Malign' Foreign Influence

The U.S. sanctioned two Russian companies and their leaders for helping the country’s government carry out a “foreign malign influence campaign,” including by impersonating government organizations and European media outlets.

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The designations target Ilya Andreevich Gambashidze, founder of Social Design Agency, and Nikolai Aleksandrovich, the CEO and owner of Company Group Structura LLC, which OFAC said acted “at the direction” of the Russian Presidential Administration. The agency said the two "implemented a campaign" that impersonated news websites, staged videos and used misleading social media accounts to amplify "the content of the spoofed websites.”