News Russia targets Kyiv with drones in morning attack: Ukraine war news

Credit…Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors charged five Russian citizens and two U.S. citizens with conspiring to illegally obtain and ship millions of dollars worth of U.S.-made military-grade technology to Russia around the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year.

The case, described in an indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court, charges the seven defendants with acting on behalf of two Moscow-based companies, Serniya Engineering and Sertal LLC, which prosecutors say operate at the direction of Russian intelligence.

Beginning at least 2017, the indictment alleges, the defendants used a global network of shell companies and bank accounts to obtain and ship to Russia advanced electronics and equipment that could be used in “quantum computing, hypersonic and nuclear weapons development, and other military and space-based military applications.”

Among the items, according to the indictment, were “chipsets” of 45 advanced semiconductors; a “low-noise cesium frequency synthesizer” valued at $45,000; a high-quality spectrum analyzer used for electronic testing; and expensive oscilloscopes and signal generator. Many are so-called dual-use devices that can be used for military or civilian purposes.

The illegal activity continued after the United States imposed sanctions on Sernia, Sertal and one of the defendants, Yevgeny Greenin, after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, according to the Justice Department.

In announcing the sanctions, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said those sanctioned “play an important role in the Russian Federation’s war machine.” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn echoed that sentiment when he announced the charges on Tuesday.

“Our office will not stop its vigorous hunt for those who illegally obtain American technology to advance Russia’s brutal war on democracy,” Mr. Pease said.

In addition to Mr. Grinin, 47, a Moscow resident, the Justice Department identified the defendants as Alexey Ippolitov, 57, from Moscow; Boris Livshits, 52, a former Brooklyn resident who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Svetlana Skvortsova, 41, from Moscow ; Vadim Konoshchenok, 48, of Tallinn, Estonia; Alexey Brayman, 35, of Merrimack, New Hampshire; and Vadim Yermolenko, 41, of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

The defendants face various charges of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering, each carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted. Four of them remain at large.

Mr. Yermolenko, a US citizen, and Mr. Brayman, a US permanent resident identified in court documents as an Israeli citizen, were arraigned on Tuesday.

Mr. Breiman was released on $150,000 bond, which included surrendering his passport and wearing an electronic monitoring device. “Like all defendants, Mr. Breiman is entitled to a presumption of innocence,” said his attorney, David Lazarus.

Mr. Yermolenko was released on a $500,000 bond, part of which was secured by his house. Nora Hirozawa, a lawyer at Yermolenko’s trial, declined to comment.

Mr. Konoschenok, who U.S. authorities believe to be an officer of Russia’s domestic intelligence service, the FSB, was arrested in Estonia last week and is awaiting extradition proceedings, according to prosecutors. Estonian authorities found 375 pounds of U.S.-made ammunition during a search of the warehouse he used, the Justice Department said.

glen thrush Contribution report.

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