Russians Charged In Scheme To Obtain U.S. Military Tech

Some of the sensitive U.S. military technology was found in Russian weapons found in the battlefield in Ukraine.
Posted at 9:14 PM, Oct 19, 2022

A federal court in Brooklyn has charged five Russians for allegedly orchestrating a complicated scheme  to illegally obtain sensitive U.S. military technology through a network of shell companies, fake documents, and cryptocurrency. The reason, according to the FBI, was to help Russia’s struggling military

Now the DOJ says the Russians purchased advanced semiconductors and microprocessors used for equipment like fighter aircraft, missile systems, radar, and satellites — and these electronic components were “found in Russian weapons platforms seized” in Ukraine. 

This is something Newsy previously reported on back in July.  

JONAH LEFF, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AT CONFLICT ARMAMENT RESEARCH: We were not expecting to see so many components from all over the world, in all of their weapons systems, including communication devices, other counter-UAV equipment, cruise missiles, drones.

NEWSY'S SASHA INGBER: So this was before the U.S. imposed sanctions for the war in Ukraine. This isn't, say, a get-around to the production issues that manufacturers in Russia are having to try to keep up with the demand. Is that what you're saying?  

LEFF: Some of these components were manufactured before and some after.  

INGBER: Can you give me an example of a U.S. component?  

LEFF: I'm not able to discuss company names at this point. I can say that we've seen several semiconductors, electronics, guidance systems. Their use as weapons does constitute a violation of sanctions for some of these countries.  

These Russians face a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment if they’re convicted. And this case shows that despite U.S. efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is finding ways to evade sanctions.