DOJ: Americans Arrested for Selling Aviation Tech to Russia

March 3, 2023

The Department of Justice on Thursday arrested two Kansas men on charges related to illegally exporting aviation-related technology to Russia, as well as providing repair services for the equipment.

In its announcement, the DOJ said Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky and Douglas Robertson have been charged with conspiracy, exporting controlled goods without a license, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and illegally smuggling goods.

The charges come just a week after the U.S. slapped Russia with the “most significant sanctions actions to date,” one year to the day after its military invaded Ukraine. The new sanctions target  Russian firms, banks, manufacturers and individuals. 

According to the DOJ, Buyanovsky and Robertson owned and operated KanRus Trading Co., which allegedly supplied “Western avionics equipment”—electronics installed in aircraft—to Russian companies and provided repair services for equipment used in Russian-manufactured aircraft.

Further, the DOJ said the pair has conspired since 2020 to evade U.S. export laws by concealing and misrepresenting the end users of their tech, as well as their exports’ true destinations. They did so by shipping equipment through third-party countries, investigators say.

The DOJ added that its investigation involved coordination with the Commerce Department’s Export Enforcement, the FBI, and the DOJ’s “Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export controls and economic countermeasures that the United States, along with its foreign allies and partners, has imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.”

The pair face up to 35 years in prison if convicted. 

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