Russia-Ukraine War

US designates alleged Russian sanctions evasion network

22 individuals, entities in multiple countries placed under sanctions for allegedly helping Russia sell, procure arms

Michael Gabriel Hernandez  | 02.02.2023 - Update : 02.02.2023
US designates alleged Russian sanctions evasion network


The Biden administration blacklisted nearly two dozen entities Wednesday that it said have been involved in aiding Russia evade US sanctions. 

In all, 22 individuals and entities in multiple countries were placed under US sanctions, including Russia- and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Vladimirovich Zimenkov. The Treasury Department said he runs a network that facilitates Russian arms sales and equipment procurement, after the West imposed sweeping restrictions following Moscow's war against Ukraine.

Zimenkov and his son, Jonatan Zimenkov, have helped Russia sell arms, including cybersecurity equipment and helicopters, to third-party nations. Both men, and what the Treasury calls the Zimenkov network, have been blacklisted.

“Russia’s desperate attempts to utilize proxies to circumvent U.S. sanctions demonstrate that sanctions have made it much harder and costlier for Russia’s military-industrial complex to re-supply Putin’s war machine,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

“Targeting proxies is one of many steps that Treasury and our coalition of partners have taken, and continue to take, to tighten sanctions enforcement against Russia’s defense sector, its benefactors, and its supporters," he added.

Several network front companies have also been sanctioned, including Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited, Texel F.C.G. Technology 2100 Limited, Elektrooptika SIA and GBD Limited.

Cyprus-based Alexander Volfovich, an alleged arms broker and owner of GBD Limited, is also being sanctioned along with six of his companies, four of which are based in Cyprus, and one each in Bulgaria and Israel. Several company executives are also being hit with economic penalties.

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