The United States has sanctioned a Chinese company for allegedly providing satellite imagery of Ukraine to support the combat operations of the mercenary Wagner Group for Russia.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Wagner supplied Russia with thousands of fighters in the Ukraine war. Spacety China had provided Terra Tech, a Russia-based technology company, with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite images of locations in Ukraine,

The firm called Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute is among 16 entities the Treasury Department has clamped down on. The firm, also known as Spacety China, has offices in Beijing and Luxembourg.

The department stated that youThese images were collected to enable Wagner’s combat operations in the Ukraine.. Therefore, the department it has also sanctioned the Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Spacety. Under the sanctions, there can be no transfer, payment, or export of any property or interest in the United States to the targeted entities.

Reports indicate that Spacety China has yet to respond to the move. China, a close ally of Russia, has tried to position itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine war. The United States and its partners have criticized China for refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On its website, Spacety China describes itself as “a pioneer” in providing commercial SAR technology, stating that it wants to “make SAR images of every point on earth accessible and affordable to users all over the world.

SAR is a type of radar technology that can deliver higher resolution images using shorter antennas. According to the company’s website, its CEO, Yang Feng, is part of the expert panel of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The site also lists several working partners, including state-owned companies China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In addition to Space and China, 15 other entities, eight individuals and four aircraft, many of them based in Russia, allegedly part of Wagner’s global support network, have also received US sanctions. These include Central Africa-based Sewa Security Services and United Arab Emirates-based Kratol Aviation, which allegedly provided planes to move personnel and equipment between Central Africa, Libya and Mali.

According to White House estimates, Wagner now commands some 50,000 fighters in Ukraine. The organization plays a crucial role in Russia’s war efforts and has been heavily involved in attempts to capture Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, runs it.

“Today’s expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on his associates and other companies that enable the Russian military complex, will further impede Putin’s ability to arm and equip his war machine,” it added. stated US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.