The United States Department of Treasury has added five cryptocurrency addresses linked to a neo-Nazi group involved in Russia’s war against Ukraine to the list of entities sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Asset Control.
In a notice released Thursday, the US Treasury designated 22 individuals and 2 entities, many of whom the government department said had furthered Russian government objectives in Ukraine, to its Specially Designated Nationals list, thus barring US individuals and companies to deal with them. Sanctions from one of the entities – a neo-Nazi paramilitary group called Task Force Rusich – included 2 cryptocurrency addresses for Bitcoin (BTC), 2 for Ether (ETH), and 1 for Tether (USDT).
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the sanctions were imposed as part of the government’s efforts “to hold Russia accountable for its war crimes, atrocities and aggressions”, financially isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin and prevent the country to finance its army. On Monday, the Ukrainian army retook part of the territory east of the city of Kharkiv which had been occupied by Russian forces for months.
According to the Treasury Department, Task Force Rusich fought alongside the Russian military in Ukraine, including near recently reclaimed territory, and had mercenaries accused of “committing atrocities against fallen and captured Ukrainian soldiers.” in 2015 during the conflict in the Donbass region. The department claimed the neo-Nazi group was responsible for or complicit in actions that “undermine the peace, security, political stability, or territorial integrity of the United States, its allies, or partners” for the benefit of the Russian government.
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Since the Russian army began its invasion of Ukraine in February, the US government and many European officials have imposed sanctions aimed at weakening the country’s economy and penalizing the wealthy. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department also announced that it had sanctioned 7 BTC addresses allegedly linked to 2 Iranian nationals who were part of a ransomware group.