Skip to content
Edit post

US imposes sanctions on Russians who helped transport weapons from North Korea to Russia

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 16, 2024 10:51 PM 2 min read
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shaking hands during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome on Sept. 13, 2023. (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The U.S. Treasury on May 16 imposed sanctions against Russian citizens who helped Russia get weapons from North Korea.

With Russia's military stocks running low and domestic production capacity simultaneously hampered by Western sanctions, North Korea has been shaping up as Russia's leading weapons supplier, reportedly providing Moscow with extensive military packages, including ballistic missiles and over 3 million artillery shells.

The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) introduced sanctions on two Russian individuals and three Russia-based entities for facilitating weapons transfers between North Korea and Russia.

New Zealand introduced similar sanctions earlier this week, targeting actors involved in the transfer of North Korean arms to Russia.

“Today’s action reflects our commitment to disrupt the DPRK’s deepening military cooperation with Russia,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said. “The United States will continue to take action to hold accountable those who seek to facilitate the shipment of weapons and other materiel to enable Russia’s war.”

In March 2023, OFAC imposed sanctions against a Slovakian national, Ashot Mkrtychev, and associated entities for facilitating weapons transfers between Russia and the DPRK.

The U.S. has now sanctioned another associated individual, Rafael Anatolyevich Gazaryan, for working with Mkrtychev on arms exchanges between Moscow and Pyongyang. According to the report, Gazaryan has acted as a point of contact for Mkrtychev’s negotiations to obtain arms for Russia. Gazaryan also worked as a company director at Verus LLC, a company associated with Mkrtychev's sanctions evasion network.

Gazaryan also used two Russian-based companies, Trans Kapital Limited Liability and Rafort Limited Liability, to facilitate weapons and munition transfers between the two countries. The Russian national is also reportedly the director of Rafort Limited.

The U.S. Treasury identified one more individual involved in arms shipments to Russia from North Korea. Aleksey Budnev has helped maintain shipments of military communications equipment to Russia from North Korea since March 2023. He is also the sole owner of a Russian-based company, Tekhnologiya, OOO.

OFAC will impose sanctions on Gazaryan, Trans Kapital Limited Liability, Rafort Limited Liability, Aleksey Budnev, and Tekhnologiya, OOO.

New Zealand introduced similar sanctions earlier this week, targeting actors involved in the transfer of North Korean arms to Russia.

Ukrainian prosecutors announced in March that Russia had fired around 50 North Korean missiles to attack six Ukrainian oblasts since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Around half of these missiles malfunctioned and exploded in mid-air.

Reuters: UN says North Korean-made missile struck Kharkiv in January
Both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have previously said that Russia has been using North Korean-produced missiles to attack Ukraine.




Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

11:10 PM

Decorated Ukrainian pilot killed in action.

Lieutenant Colonel Vasyliuk, the brigade’s chief of staff and a deputy commander of an aviation squadron, was killed “recently” while conducting a combat mission, the brigade said.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:12 PM

Zelensky: 'Our partners fear that Russia will lose this war'.

President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Ukraine's partners "are afraid of Russia losing the war" and would like Kyiv "to win in such a way that Russia does not lose," Zelensky said in a meeting with journalists attended by the Kyiv Independent.
2:58 AM

Russia attacks 10 communities in Sumy Oblast.

Russian forces struck 10 communities in Ukraine's northeastern Sumy Oblast in 44 separate attacks throughout the day, the regional administration reported on May 17. At least 183 explosions were reported in Sumy Oblast over the past 24 hours.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.