All is not quiet on the Russian Front. Obama has shut down access to two Russian “Compounds” – one in Maryland and one in New York – and declared 35 Russian diplomats “persona non grata” giving them and their families just 72 hours to leave the country. He has also sanctioned two Russian intelligence groups, the GRU and FSB, and any individuals associated with them. All due to the “Russian interference” in the US elections.
“These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.” Obama
BREAKING: Pres. Obama releases statement on new sanctions against Russians: “All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.” pic.twitter.com/U1xbGGmsAx
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) December 29, 2016
The administration also named two people, Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev and Aleksey Alekseyevich Belan as having engaged in malicious cyber activity.
On the Russian Front
“We think that such steps by a U.S. administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, to deal a blow to the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect.” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Putin
President Obama expels 35 ???????? diplomats in Cold War deja vu. As everybody, incl ???????? people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless Adm. pic.twitter.com/mleqA16H8D
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) December 29, 2016
Russia has threatened to retaliate.
BREAKING: Russia says it will retaliate against US sanctions
— The Int’l Spectator (@intlspectator) December 29, 2016
Obama stated he would reveal his “evidence” about Russian hackers in the election to Congress “in the coming days.”
What he has done here is absolutely throw a huge snarl in the way of President-Elect Trump. If Trump pulls the plug on the sanctions, he will be accused of being a tool of the Russians. If he doesn’t, he risks Cold War disaster between the two nations.