The U.S. Treasury Department has added five cryptocurrency addresses linked to a neo-Nazi group linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine to its list of entities sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
In an announcement Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department designated 22 individuals and 2 organizations. They are entities that the Russian government has identified as targets of the Russian government in Ukraine according to the list of Specially Designated Citizens. The U.S. thoroughly prohibits U.S. individuals and companies from dealing with them, including sanctions against one of these entities — a neo-Nazi paramilitary group called the Rusich Task Force — à 2 bitcoin (BTC)cryptocurrency addresses, 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 war crimes, atrocities, and aggression,” isolating Russian President Vladimir Putin financially and preventing the country from financing its military. On Monday, Ukrainian troops recaptured part of the territory east of the city of Kharkiv that had been occupied by Russian forces for months.
According to the Treasury Department, the Rusich Task Force fought alongside Russian troops in Ukraine, including near recently recovered territory, and there were mercenaries accused of “committing atrocities against Ukrainian soldiers” in 2015 during the conflict in the Donbas region. The ministry claimed the neo-Nazi group was responsible for actions that “undermine the peace, security, political stability, or territorial integrity of the United States, its allies or partners.”
Since Russian troops began invading Ukraine in February, the U.S. government and many officials in Europe have imposed sanctions aimed at weakening the country’s economy and punishing wealthy individuals. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance also announced that it had sanctioned 7 BTC addresses believed to be linked to 2 Iranian citizens belonging to the ransomware group.