U.S. expels dozen Russian diplomats over 'espionage activities'

"The U.S. has informed the Russian Mission that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives," the spokeswoman said.

Updated: February 28, 2022 - 4:50pm

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The Biden administration announced that 12 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the United States over "espionage activities" that threaten national security.

"The U.S. has informed the Russian Mission that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the U.S. by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security," U.S. Mission to the United Nations spokeswoman Olivia Dalton posted Monday on Twitter. 

"We are taking this action in accordance with the headquarters agreement," she stated. "Today’s action has been in the works for several months."

The expulsion comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last week.

The United States expelled Russia's second-ranking diplomat in response to the Kremlin's expulsion of the U.S.'s second-highest diplomat, a State Department official said on Thursday.

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