Facebook has suspended the account of the Ukrainian politician Andrii Derkach, who has been accused by the U.S. government of being a Russian agent and trying to meddle in the presidential election.
“We removed this account and this Page for violating our policy against the use of our platform by people engaged in election-focused influence operations,” Facebook said in a statement Monday.
Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has been working with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to try to gather derogatory information about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Since the 2016 election, Facebook and other tech companies have stepped up their efforts to try to prevent election meddling, especially by foreign agents. The suspension of Derkach’s account was first reported by The Daily Beast.
Derkach is already the subject of U.S. government sanctions. The Department of the Treasury said last month in announcing the sanctions that he “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade.”
He was the only person identified by name in a U.S. intelligence community update in August on ongoing election meddling.
Giuliani told MSNBC last month that he was unaware Derkach was a Russian agent.
“I don’t know what’s in the Treasury Department investigation, nor have I ever seen any evidence that he [Derkach] is or is not a Russian agent,” Giuliani said. “So I don’t know anything about that.”
In the 1990s, Derkach studied at the Russian FSB intelligence service (formerly KGB) academy in Moscow.