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Obama admin. announces sanctions on Russia, ejects intelligence operatives

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After warning that it would do so for weeks, the Obama administration announced new actions punishing Russia for the accused computer hacking of U.S. government offices and politicians. This includes having 35 Russian intelligence operatives ejected from the country and placing sanctions on their intelligence agencies suspected in the cyberattack.

From the New York Times:

In a sweeping set of announcements, the United States was also expected to release evidence linking the cyberattacks to computer systems used by Russian intelligence. Taken together, the actions would amount to the strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States.

NBC is reporting that two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York will be shut down and some intelligence operatives will be declared "persona non grata" on U.S. soil. Though President Barack Obama had said that the retaliatory measures would be announced in public, some other moves might remain covert.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) had demanded the sanctions for weeks while President-elect Donald Trump had been trying to play down the significance of the cyberattacks, saying that we need to "move on with our lives" in a short press conference Wednesday. Russia, meanwhile, threatened retaliatory measures if new sanctions were imposed, saying that there was no evidence of the hacking and directly accusing U.S. officials of lying about the alleged attacks.

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