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U.S. Charges 7 With Smuggling U.S. Military, Dual-Use Tech to Russia

Vadim Konoshchenok, one of seven people to be charged with smuggling U.S. technology into Russia, was arrested in Estonia on Dec. 6., and is expected to be extradited to the United States. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Department
Vadim Konoshchenok, one of seven people to be charged with smuggling U.S. technology into Russia, was arrested in Estonia on Dec. 6., and is expected to be extradited to the United States. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Department

Five Russians, a U.S. citizen and a New Hampshire resident have been indicted on charges of smuggling millions of dollars' worth of American-made military and dual-use technology to Russia's military, defense sector and research institutions.

The 16-count indictment charges the group of seven as being part of the so-called Serniya procurement network, which federal prosecutors say is operated under the direction of Russian intelligence to acquire sensitive military and dual-use materials, including advanced semiconductors, quantum computing testing equipment and hypersonic and nuclear weapons technology.

The illicit procurement network is believed to be headed by Russia's wholesale machinery and equipment company Serniya Engineering to gain the sensitive technology for state-owned defense conglomerates, atomic and nuclear research agencies and the ministry of defense, among others.

"The industries that these illegal transfers could support ... pose great danger in the hands of our adversaries," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

The United States had previously targeted the illicit network and sanctioned it in late March following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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