Kristina Puzyreva, a Canadian Russian woman, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. to a multimillion-dollar scheme to send electronics to Russia for military use in the war against Ukraine. Prosecutors claimed that Puzyreva was involved in helping to send pieces used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and guided missile systems in violation of export and sanctions laws. Her husband, Nikolay Goltsev, and another individual, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, were also charged last fall with smuggling, conspiracy to violate sanctions and wire fraud conspiracy.
An indictment filed in November stated that Goltsev had been buying American electronic components for the Russian military for years while living in Canada. It was also reported that Puzyreva was involved with an electronics company based in Montreal, Simatech Group Inc., which bought what is known as dual-use technology. Prosecutors stated that she received over 150 packages at her Canadian address from American companies over roughly five years.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, indicated that Puzyreva played a key role in laundering proceeds from the scheme in order to evade sanctions and ship UAV and missile components to Russia that were later found on the battlefield in Ukraine. U.S. authorities stated that the scheme involved more than 300 illegal shipments valued at about $10 million and that some of the electronics were later recovered from Russian equipment that had been seized in Ukraine. The cases against Goltsev and Nasriddinov are still ongoing.