Nearly Half of Russia’s Imported Mil Tech From US, EU Firms:…

Moscow is still dodging sanctions on the tech that its forces need to fight in Ukraine, recently importing almost $9 billion in “high priority” electronics that the US and its allies barred from entering Russia, according to a new report by US and Ukrainian researchers.

Such components are mostly microchips, bearings, navigational systems, and other electronics that the Kremlin uses for its missiles, drones, and armored vehicles.

In the first 10 months of 2023, at least 43.9% of this imported tech was originally manufactured by companies headquartered in the US and its allied countries, according to the joint study by think-tank Yermak-McFaul International Working Group on Russian Sanctions and an analysis center at the Kyiv School of Economics.

Manufacturers based in the US alone have contributed to at least 27% of the tech found in Russian weapons during that period, said the report, which advocated for the use of sanctions to pressure Russia away from its invasion.

In total, the advanced tech imported by the Kremlin in those months is valued at $8.77 billion, the report said.

Sanctions have been working to some extent, the group said. Advanced electronics imported by Russia for military use declined by 10% since the war began, the researchers found.

But much of this tech still originated from US-based companies like Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and Texas Instruments, the report said.

At least $351 million worth of goods from Intel were imported for Russian weaponry from January to October 2023, while $269 million worth of tech came from Massachusetts-based Analog Devices, researchers said.

And $174 million of these goods were originally made by AMD, while another $140 million came from Texas Instruments, the research groups also said.

Components from all of these companies have been found in Russian weapons retrieved from the battlefield, the report added. That’s despite all of them halting sales to Russia.

“It is clear that Russia continues to be able to acquire large amounts of goods that we consider to be of particular importance for its military industry,” the researchers wrote.

These goods were largely sold and dispatched through China and Hong Kong, with nearly 70% arriving from these two regions, the group added.

They also found that Chinese tech made up 44.7% of the imported components found in Russian weaponry during the first three quarters of 2023. That’s more than the US, but still less than the amount of imported tech originating from the Western coalition, which includes South Korea and Japan, per the report’s data.

The report also said its findings show it’s highly likely Russia still needs Western advanced electronics for its weapons, meaning that export controls could still be effective in curbing Moscow’s bombardments and drone strikes.

“However, major changes to the current enforcement approach are needed to improve their effectiveness,” it said.

The researchers called on Western lawmakers to step up restrictions on countries acting as third-party sellers, and to encourage the private sector to regulate itself better to comply with sanctions.

The joint report comes just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that Western sanctions were marred by loopholes.

“There is clear evidence of a slowdown in the Russian defense industry,” he said in a video speech. “But for the sanctions to be 100% effective, the schemes for circumventing the sanctions must also be 100% blocked.”

The Yermak-McFaul International Working Group on Russian Sanctions is partially run by Zelenskyy’s office. Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia and now a Stanford professor, also heads the group.

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