In response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Treasury Department today announced the addition of 22 individuals and two Russian government-related entities to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.
The list includes entities that OFAC says supported Russia’s invasion, including Task Force Rusich, a suspected neo-Nazi paramilitary group that the agency says took part in the fighting alongside the Russian military. in Ukraine.
“Today’s action is being taken in coordination with those taken by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is imposing additional export controls to better align itself with its partners and allies, and by the Department of U.S. state, which targets Russia’s defense and high-security-tech industries,” the Treasury Department said in a press release.
In addition to adding Task Force Rusich to its sanctions list, OFAC also released and blacklisted Bitcoin, Ether, and USDT cryptocurrency addresses linked to the group.
Before Russia launched its invasion in February this year, crypto donations began pouring into the region as both sides turned to global supporters, using digital assets to circumvent border restrictions.
In July, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported that Russian-linked groups had raised $2 million in cryptocurrency, with the vast majority of funds being sent in Bitcoin ($1.45 million) and Ethereum ($590,000), with “considerable amounts” being sent in Tether, Litecoin and Dogecoin as well.
In contrast, as of March 2022, Ukraine had received nearly $100 million in cryptocurrency donations, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, TRON, Polkadot, Dogecoin, and Solana, according to blockchain analytics platform. Elliptical. These donations included $5 million from Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
OFAC has stepped up its investigation and sanctioning of crypto addresses in recent months, including adding the Tornado Cash coin-mixing service and several Ethereum addresses, citing the service’s use in money laundering.
“The United States will continue to take strong action to hold Russia accountable for its war crimes, atrocities, and aggression,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement. “As Ukraine strives to defend its freedom, we are taking action today to further degrade Russia’s ability to rebuild its military, hold perpetrators of violence accountable and further isolate Putin financially.”
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