Last week on Thursday, two men were arrested in Kansas on charges of them selling aircraft technology to Russians, as well as offering their services when it came to maintaining and repairing the equipment.
To no one’s surprise, one of the two men is of Russian origin, that being Cyril Gregory Buyanovski. He conspired together with Douglas Robertson to export goods to Russia without a proper license to do so.
Betrayal of the highest order
The reason they were caught is embarrassing, to say the least. They failed to falsify and file electronic export info, leading to an easy crackdown on their operations.
Despite this, Buyanovski and Robertson still managed to get a decent amount of money out of their scheme, running the KanRus Trading Company, which they used to supply Russia with aircraft electronics.
It’s also not a coincidence that their operation grew as the US imposed sanctions on Russia starting February 24th last year, which limited the country’s access to computer chips and electronics they were importing from other countries.
Two Americans were arrested for the illegal export of Russian aviation technology
Two US citizens have been detained in Kansas City on suspicion of transferring aviation technology to Russia in violation of export control rules, Commerce Department spokesman Matthew Axelrod said pic.twitter.com/DjK6RawjlX
— Alan Abdo (@AlanAbdo13) March 6, 2023
In fact, the thousands of sanctions on public figures and companies probably didn’t do nearly as much damage as the import/export sanctions did. Russia is fully reliant on importing goods from countries like China, the US, and others.
The pair’s indictment shows that KanRus evaded US export laws for three years, all through the concealment and misstating of the goods’ true destination, as well as the fact they used third-party countries to ship their products to Russia.
A year-long invasion of Ukraine
If Buyanovski and Robertson are actually convicted, each of them could be facing up to 35 years in federal prison. Currently, the names of their lawyers have been omitted from the official document presented to the public.
Their case is still under investigation by the FBI and the Commerce Department, which could mean additional charges could be brought up against them if substantial evidence is found.
Currently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is still in full swing even after an entire year since the conflict started. It’s safe to say that KanRus Export Co. has done its part in the development of the war.
"The defendants concealed the true end user & end destination by providing a fraudulent invoice to the shipment company identifying the end destination as Germany" per @TheJusticeDept on the repairs done for #Russia's FSB pic.twitter.com/AmxWbhjvUW
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) March 2, 2023
Matthew S. Axelrod, the assistant secretary for export enforcement, believes that countries like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran are abusing the rapid technological advancements we’re seeing all around us to strengthen their agenda.
With this in mind, sensitive technology being sent to these countries poses an even greater threat now than it did ever before. The operation that was run by Buyanovski and Robertson caused a great deal of damage in regard to that.
As for the Russia v. Ukraine conflict, US officials have announced yet another increase in enforcement of sanctions, now that we’ve entered a full year since the conflict began.