Three charged with sending Russia electronics for Ukraine conflict
Federal prosecutors allege that these dozens of boxes, recovered from defendant Nasriddinov’s residence in Brooklyn, contained thousands of semiconductors and other electronic components.
Three people were arrested in New York City on Tuesday on charges of illegally smuggling millions of dollars’ worth of electronics to Russia in order to aid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Nikolay Goltsev, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov and Kristina Puzyreva of evading sanctions in order to send Russia equipment used in their precision-guided missile systems.
Some of that equipment “has been used on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a press release.
The defendants allegedly dispatched hundreds of shipments of restricted items, worth nearly $7.2 million, to Russia over the course of a year.
Nasriddinov, 52, a dual national of Russia and Tajikistan, was arrested in Brooklyn, where he resides. Goltsev, 37, and 32-year-old Puzyreva, dual Russian-Canadian nationals who live in Montreal, were arrested in Manhattan.
Prosecutors have asked a judge to detain the defendants pending trial, arguing that they each pose a “serious flight risk.”
The complaint alleges that the defendants used two corporate entities to source and purchase dual-use electronics from U.S. manufacturers and distributors, and then secretly export them to Russia.
Some of the electronic components and integrated circuits were designated as being “of the highest concern due to their critical role in the production of advanced Russian precision-guided weapons systems,” according to the complaint.
Goltsev used aliases, including “Nick Stevens,” as part of his efforts to procure items from the U.S. entities, prosecutors said. Those items were sent to various locations in Brooklyn, then shipped to intermediary corporations in countries including Turkey, Hong Kong, India, China and the United Arab Emirates, before finally being re-routed to Russia, according to the prosecutors.
The defendants knew that the electronics had military application, the prosecutors alleged, citing messages sent between Goltsev and Nasriddinov.
The 23-page document lists four unnamed co-conspirators, who are described as Russian nationals living in Russia.
Some of the same types of components were found in Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment that were seized in Ukraine, prosecutors alleged.
They specified that that equipment includes the Torn-MDM radio reconnaissance complex, the RB-301B “Borisoglebsk-2” electronic warfare complex, the Vitebsk L370 airborne counter missile system, Ka-52 helicopters, the Izdeliye 305E light multi-purpose guided missile, Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles and T-72B3 battle tanks.
“With these defendants in U.S. custody, we have disrupted a sophisticated procurement network allegedly used to procure critical technologies for the Russian military’s advanced weapons systems,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The U.S. government ramped up its export controls on Russia, restricting its access to tech and other key items, in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine last year.