The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reportedly provided advanced training to Ukrainian law enforcement officers to help uncover illegal cryptocurrency transactions conducted by Russian businesses and billionaires. According to experts, Russia could use digital assets to circumvent Western sanctions or fund war-related activities in Ukraine. The US Treasury Department had earlier sanctioned five crypto addresses associated with Task Force Rusich, a Russian paramilitary organization responsible for atrocities against Ukrainian soldiers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS allowed Ukraine to use the Chinalysis Reactor, a crypto investigation program that links cryptocurrency transactions to real-world businesses. Ukrainian investigators have also received in-person training from the US Department of Justice, which could give them an advantage in the economic conflict with Russia.
According to Eduard Fedorov, Acting Director of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, the country is fighting the aggressor state on the battlefield and on the economic front. Another priority for Ukrainian officials is stopping Russian cryptocurrency fundraising operations. Yurii Vykhodets, head of the cyber department of the Ukrainian National Police, notes that Russia often uses Bitcoin to bypass sanctions and raise funds to purchase war-related items.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the world’s largest country by landmass has faced tough sanctions from the United States, European Union, Australia and other countries. These sanctions aim to curb Russia’s aggression and reduce its military capabilities. Government agencies and high-profile figures have also warned cryptocurrency companies against dealing with Russia, as sanctioned oligarchs and organizations could use digital currencies to avoid punishment or finance war-related operations.
Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, warned that entities dealing with Russia may face increased scrutiny. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) advises that countries mine bitcoins and altcoins to circumvent restrictions. Last year, the US Treasury Department added five bitcoin addresses to its sanctions blacklist, all linked to Task Force Rusich, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group responsible for fighting and atrocities on Ukrainian soil.
In conclusion, the IRS’ sophisticated training of Ukrainian law enforcement authorities and the use of a Chinalysis Reactor could help uncover illegal Russian cryptocurrency transactions. Collaboration between the US and Ukraine can provide an advantage in the economic conflict with Russia. Ukrainian officials aim to stop Russian cryptocurrency fundraising operations, which could help fund war-related activities in Ukraine. The world’s largest nations have imposed tough sanctions on Russia to curb its aggression, and government agencies and prominent figures have warned cryptocurrency firms against dealings with Russia.