The State Department on Monday announced new sanctions against Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin for allegedly financing the Internet Research Agency, IRA, that worked to influence the U.S. 2016 presidential election. The sanctions target his luxury assets, including a yacht and three private planes, according to a State Department press release. The IRA allegedly ran troll farms that paid Russians to pose as Americans online posting divisive rhetoric leading up to the election. “We have been clear: We will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections,” reads the statement. “The United States will continue to push back against malign actors who seek to subvert our democratic processes and we will not hesitate to impose further costs on Russia for its destabilizing and unacceptable activities.”
Prigozhin was indicted in February by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for allegedly funding the agency. An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prigozhin has become known as Putin’s “chef” because he caters events at the Kremlin. In addition to financing the IRA, he has also been accused of ordering “at least one killing” and violent attacks on several of his opponents. According to a report by The Novaya Gazetaan, an independent Russian newspaper, Prigozhin allegedly played a central role in deadly violence against his adversaries.