The US Treasury Department has added five cryptocurrency addresses to its sanctions blacklist. All wallets are linked to the Russian neo-Nazi paramilitary group – Task Force Rusich – which took part in the war in Ukraine.
Previously, the Department sanctioned Ethereum-based cryptocurrency mixer – Tornado Cash – and Blender.io (a software linked to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).
Weakening of Russian forces
The US Treasury Department has announced that it has named 22 individuals and two entities who allegedly supported the Russian government and, more specifically, its military campaign 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 press release read.
Among those sanctioned were also five crypto addresses (two Bitcoin, two Ether and one Tether) linked to Task Force Rusich. The US Treasury Department has described the latter as a “neo-Nazi paramilitary group” which fought in Ukraine and committed atrocities against soldiers. He also allegedly funded his attacks through cryptocurrencies, the financial organization added.
Over the past few days, the Ukrainian army launched a counter-offensive and pushed back the Russian troops. Their success was noted by the US President – Joe Biden – who could not predict whether it would be a turning point in the war.
The Treasury Department remains committed to aiding Ukrainian efforts in the conflict and weakening Russia’s military might and financial ties to the rest of the world:
“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.”
In May this year, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) revealed that North Korean hackers had used the Blender.io cryptocurrency mixer to launder digital assets and carry out sponsored cyberattacks. by the state. Arguing that the software poses a threat to US national security, the entity put it on its sanctions list:
“We are taking action against the DPRK’s illicit financial activities and will not let state-sponsored thefts and their money laundering enablers go unaddressed.”
Last month, the Department sanctioned another crypto mixer – the Ethereum-based Tornado Cash. US attorney and government official – Brian E. Nelson – said the tool “failed to impose effective controls designed to prevent it from laundering funds to malicious cyber actors.”
Featured image courtesy of AA
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