President Donald Trump’s administration has slapped Russia with sanctions over meddling with our presidential election and other cyber activity.

The sanctions affect 19 individuals and five entities.

From Politico:

“The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”

Mnuchin added that Treasury is planning to impose additional sanctions “to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the U.S. financial system.”

So yeah the election meddling is a biggie, but the sanctions also cover the NotPetya cyberattack from 2017. The attack hit Ukraine first and then spread globally. It “caused billions of dollars in damage in the United States, Europe and Asia.”

The sanctions include the 13 people Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February for allegedly using trolls online to help sway our election: Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin; Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov; Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik; Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova; Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva; Sergey Pavlovich Polozov; Maria Anatolyrvna Bovda; Robert Sergetevich Bovda; Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly; Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev; Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko; Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina and Vladimir Venkov.

The other sanctioned individuals: Sergei Afanasyev, Vladimir Alexseyev, Sergey Gizunov, Igor Korobov, Igor Kostyukov and Grigoriy Molchanov.

The entities include Internet Research Agency LLC, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, Concord Catering, Federal Security Service, and Main Intelligence Directorate.

Sanctions will block the people’s access to the United states and free any assets they have in this country. It also stops American businesses and individuals from engaging in business with them.

Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin is probably the most prominent person on the list. I’ve seen some outlets call him Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief, but in all honesty, I still consider Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin as Putin’s main man.

Anyway, Prigozhin enjoys close ties to Putin. He is an oligarch, the main financier of Russia’s infamous troll farm, and links to Concord Consulting and Concord catering.

He met Putin through his restaurant adventures, starting in 1996 in St. Petersburg. In 1998 he opened a restaurant boat that Putin chose to dine at with French President Jacques Chirac in 2001 and President George Bush in 2002. Apparently he charmed Putin with his “rags-to-riches” story and Putin welcomed him into his group. Here’s some controversy:

Prigozhin founded Concord Catering in 1996, and over the years began feeding Moscow children and eventually the Russian military. Putin attended the 2010 opening of Prigozhin’s food factory outside St. Petersburg, designed to supply food to schools, according to Meduza.

But parents began to protest the factory in 2011 for providing students with processed food packed with preservatives. So Prigozhin turned to Moscow, where he won school catering contracts worth more than 10 billion rubles, or $177 million, Meduza reported.

His career peaked in 2012, when Prigozhin was awarded a two-year contract worth $1.6 billion to source more than 90 percent of all food orders for Russian soldiers. Since then, Prigozhin, described by the Anti-Corruption Foundation as man whose only merits were “his cooking and Putin’s trust,” signed several state contracts totaling at least $3.1 billion.

People complain about sanctions, but this is honestly a great way to get to Putin. Sanction his friends and pals. They claim to hate the West and America, but they sure do love coming over here and participate in beautiful capitalism. Chop off their access to the free world and they get a tad testy.