The US is training Ukrainian security forces in cryptocurrency investigations in order to target financial networks used by sanctioned Russian oligarchs.
The criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service said that Ukrainian detectives will receive advanced face-to-face training on cryptocurrency investigations in Frankfurt from Thursday to next week.
This unit, which is the investigative arm of the American government, usually related to tax collection, is heavily involved in investigations into possible violations of sanctions against Russia. The agency announced that it is working on 23 investigations related to the sanctions.
The partnership with Ukraine aims to support these efforts. Ukrainian agencies involved in cyber training include the National Police, the Bureau of Economic Security, the Security Service, and the Prosecutor General's Office.
The IRS says it has licensed Ukraine to use Chainalysis Reactor, a Bitcoin and crypto investigation tool. About 50 Ukrainian law enforcement officials attended a virtual training held in April. Training sessions run by IRS officials and Chainalysis aim to help Ukrainian officials learn to monitor cryptocurrency transactions and develop tips.
US and European officials have warned of attempts by the Kremlin to use virtual assets to circumvent sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine.
Police colonel Yurii Vykhodets, who heads the cyber department of the Ukrainian National Police, said that Ukraine will focus on identifying and stopping fundraising campaigns aimed at raising cryptocurrencies for Russia.
*Not investment advice.