The Treasury Department has revealed the names of Putin’s nerve-agent hit squad, called out a Russian oligarch for allegedly fronting the money for a political coup in Montenegro, and banned the hackers behind Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election from the U.S. financial system for good measure. Who’s who in the GRU sanctions and why does it matter?
Skripal’s hit squad unmasked: Remember Sergei Skripal? He’s the former Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officer who spied for Britain and got some covertly delivered nerve agent on his doorknob in Salisbury, England as a thank-you present from Moscow. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department sanctioned Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two men Britain accused of delivering the top secret poison, concealed inside a fake perfume bottle, to Skripal and his daughter. But if you go beyond the press release and comb through the fine print “identifying information,” you’ll find a little Easter egg about the two men’s real identities.