US charges 7 with military tech plot on Russian govt orders

The US has charged five Russian nationals, including a suspected Federal Security Service (FSB) officer, and two Americans for allegedly conspiring to obtain military-grade and dual-use technologies from US companies for Russia’s defence sector, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

In an official statement issued on Tuesday, the DOJ said a 16-count indictment was unsealed on Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court in New York City.

The seven persons are Yevgeniy Grinin, 44, of Moscow; Aleksey Ippolitov, 57, of Moscow; Boris Livshits, 52, of St. Petersburg; Svetlana Skvortsova, 41, of Moscow; Vadim Konoshchenok, 48, of St. Petersburg; Alexey Brayman, 35, of New Hampshire; and Vadim Yermolenko, 41, of New Jersey

The Department said they have been “charged with conspiracy to defraud the US as to the enforcement of export controls and economic sanctions; conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA); smuggling; and failure to comply with the Automated Export System relating to the transportation of electronics”.

According to the indictment, the defendants unlawfully purchased and exported highly sensitive and heavily regulated electronic components, some of which can be used in the development of nuclear and hypersonic weapons, quantum computing and other military applications.

While Grinin, Skvortsova, Ippolitov and Livshits remain at large, Brayman, Yermolenko and Konoshchenok are in custody.

“The Department of Justice and our international partners will not tolerate criminal schemes to bolster the Russian military’s war efforts,” US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland was quoted as saying in the statement.

“With three of the defendants now in custody, we have disrupted the procurement network allegedly used by the defendants and Russian intelligence services to smuggle sniper rifle ammunition and sensitive electronic components into Russia.

“The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce our economic sanctions and export controls against those who enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war in Ukraine,” he added.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison.




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