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Media: Bulgarian authorities uncover plot to export military equipment to Russia

by Nate Ostiller October 10, 2023 8:15 PM 1 min read
Street view on January 31, 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
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Bulgarian law enforcement discovered a criminal scheme to ship dual-use equipment to Russia, Bulgaria's Interior Ministry reported on Oct. 10.

The plot reportedly involved 12 individuals, including three Russians and a Belarusian, and consisted of an organized scheme to ship the materials to Russian special forces.

Authorities emphasized that their intended destination was not the regular Russian military, but units specifically fighting in Ukraine, according to comments at the press conference cited by Bulgarian news site News.BG.

The group allegedly had been operating since 2021 and exported dual-use items such as radios, optical sights, binoculars, and other military equipment used by Russia in its war on Ukraine.

Russia has employed a variety of methods to circumvent the Western sanctions on the export of military equipment to Russia, including using third-party countries as intermediaries.

Despite sanctions that specifically target Russia's access to Western-made dual-use technologies, they have continued to show up in the missiles Russia uses to strike Ukraine.

Kyiv’s frustration boils as flow of Western chips for Russian missiles continues uninterrupted
Destroyed apartments, burnt-out cars, lives upturned or extinguished altogether: Russia’s June 13 missile attack on the city of Kryvyi Rih was, in many ways, nothing out of the ordinary for wartime Ukraine. The evening after the attack, which killed 13 civilians, President Volodymyr Zelensky came o…
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