The government of Vladimir Putin is a genuine mafia state: Not only does it carry out theft and wanton murder; it exacts revenge on those who embarrass it. Consider a series of indictments handed down by the Justice Department on Thursday morning.

Seven Russian military intelligence officers are accused of hacking, wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. One charge particularly stands out: that in April four Russian spies attempted to hack into the networks of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog, which has investigated both Russia and its ally Syria in 2018.

The four operatives also tried to visit an OPCW-accredited Swiss chemical laboratory, which just happened to be analyzing the chemical agent used against a former Soviet spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter on British soil in March. Dutch intelligence services interrupted the Russians’ April hacking mission. The Kremlin had fought to gain access to the OPCW probe and even proposed a joint investigation with Britain into the incident. Of course, Russia denies involvement in the attack.

Alongside its hacking efforts, Russia has a long veto-streak at the United Nations Security Council, rejecting resolutions to protect its ally, Bashar al-Assad. Both face allegations of chemical weapons violations, and the OPCW has been at the forefront of investigating the horrific attack in Douma in April. The Russians’ failed hacking begins to look a botched attempt by Putin to keep Russia and its client state Syria out of international trouble.

Thursday’s allegations stretch beyond the OPCW hacking. After a 2016 report by the World Anti-Doping Agency detailed Russia’s active cheating and prompted the ban of 111 Russian athletes from the Olympics in Brazil, the Kremlin sought revenge. Its now-indicted agents targeted systems used by anti-doping groups and officials. They “stole credentials, medical records, and other data, including information regarding therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), which allow athletes to use otherwise prohibited substances.” Then they disseminated the stolen information.

“Russia cheated,” a Justice Department official said. “They cheated. They got caught. They were banned from the Olympics. They were mad, and they retaliated. And in retaliating, they broke the law. They are criminals.”

The indictments are valuable in bringing attention to the Kremlin’s perfidy, but they will not stop these or any other of the Russian state’s hackers. The indicted Russians are still free, the Dutch government having deported them to Moscow rather than arresting them since they had diplomatic passports. Still, the Justice Department deserves praise for pursuing the case. We hope sanctions will follow.