Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Targets Russian Paramilitary Group With Crypto Sanctions

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The U.S Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is imposing a ban on five crypto addresses linked to a Russian neo-Nazi paramilitary group.

The group known as Task Force Rusich was added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) along with 22 individuals and entities for facilitating the geopolitical conflict that caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II.

The sanctions are part of the government’s initiative to hold accountable persons and entities that helped Russia wage war against Ukraine.

The Treasury Department says that Rusich fought with Russia’s military in Ukraine and committed atrocities against deceased and captured Ukrainian soldiers.

The sanction effectively bans two Bitcoin (BTC) addresses, two Ethereum (ETH) wallets and one Tether (USDT) address tied to the group.

Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen says that the move aims to paralyze Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, from further committing aggression.

“As Ukraine presses forward with defending its freedom, today we’re taking steps to further degrade Russia’s ability to rebuild its military, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and further financially isolate Putin.”  

The Treasury Department has been imposing prohibitions on crypto wallets linked to sanctioned persons. It banned Americans from transacting with the BTC addresses of the ransomware group affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Earlier this week, the department updated its policy on its prohibition against Tornado Cash. It now provides a means for users to complete pending transactions and withdraw frozen funds after receiving criticism over its decision to sanction the crypto mixing service.

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