Hackers linked to Russian Government
A hacking group known as The Dukes has been linked to the Russian government of Vladimir Putin, per a new report saying the group has been carrying out cyberattacks against Western governments, institutions and think tanks for several years. Reuters/Grigory Dukor

The U.S. Department of Commerce added new entities from Russia and other countries in its list of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.

Russian news agency TASS reported that 39 persons under 33 entries had been included in the "Entity List," according to a rule notice in the Federal Register to be published Wednesday. The entries include entities from Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Romania, Finland, Cyprus, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The difference between the number of persons and the number of entries take place because one person is listed in three locations and two others in two locations. According to the notice, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security “is taking this action to ensure the efficacy of existing sanctions on the Russian Federation.”

Wall Street Journal reported that almost 200 Russian and “Ukrainian-separatist” companies and individuals were targeted by the EU and the United States for the sanctions until March 15. The goal is to keep pressuring Russia for the complete implementation of the Minsk ceasefire by the end of 2015.

The present sanctions originally targeted 151 individuals including Ukrainian officials and leaders as well as Russian lawmakers and advisors. The number has now become 151 as one of the individuals has passed away.

Even though the sanctions do not affect Russian President Vladimir Putin and his major ministers, Valentina Matviyenko was not allowed to attend a forum in New York due visa restrictions. The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament said that the U.S. sanctions against Russian lawmakers “put up obstacles for a full-scale inter-parliamentary collaboration.”

Meanwhile, senior EU officials will meet Wednesday to make the decision, which should be signed off by ministers by mid-September as the travel bans and asset freeze will expire on Sept. 15.