Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s ability to deliver military supplies, intelligence analysis shows



CNN

Western sanctions have significantly reduced Russia’s ability to upgrade the munitions it uses in Ukraine, according to a new analysis by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, forcing Moscow to find ways to circumvent restrictions on its intelligence services and access critical technology. and parts to support his war effort.

Russia has lost more than 6,000 pieces of equipment since the war began nearly eight months ago, an analysis obtained by CNN shows, as the country’s military struggles to acquire the microchips, engines and thermal imaging technology needed to make new weapons.

Western restrictions on exports to Russia have forced the country’s defense industry facilities to periodically shut down. Two of the country’s two largest microelectronics manufacturers were forced to temporarily halt production because they were unable to secure the necessary foreign components. And the shortage of bearings – low-tech components – has undermined the production of tanks, aircraft, submarines and other military systems.

Even in May, just months after the start of the war, Russia’s defense industry found itself short of supplies and components for marine diesel engines, helicopters and aircraft and fire control systems, according to the analysis. And Russia has turned to Soviet-era tanks, removing them from storage for use in Ukraine.

The details were shared Friday with top financial officials from nearly 30 countries at the presentation, and U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Wally Adeyemo, Commerce Undersecretary Don Graves and Morgan Muir, Deputy Director of National Intelligence, gathered at the Treasury Department for an update on the sanctions. The effectiveness of stifling the Russian military-industrial complex.

The meeting comes as Russia renews its bombing of civilian infrastructure, including the capital Kyiv, in a sign of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intent to terrorize Ukraine’s population after months of humiliating battlefield losses.

US President Joe Biden, who this week said the attacks were “beyond the pale”, has warned that nuclear threats from Russia could lead to catastrophic mistakes and has wondered aloud what could be Putin’s “off-ramp” in the war.

The US and its allies are rushing to send more air defense systems to Ukraine, the latest in tens of billions of dollars in military aid that has flowed to the country in recent months. The effort has made Ukraine a nation heavily armed with advanced weapons and the latest technology.

In parallel, however, has been an effort to strip Russia of its own ability to make new and advanced weapons, a process officials acknowledged this spring would take months to produce results as the country’s military runs through its stockpiles.

Efforts have been coordinated between the Treasury Department, the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies, each of which brings expertise in the completion of Russia’s critical supply chains.

At the start of the war, Russia suffered heavy losses and fought back with some of its advanced weapons. When precision-guided munitions were used, Russia suffered failure rates of 60 percent, US officials said earlier.

Now the U.S. says Russia is turning to Iran and North Korea for help at an “unsustainable rate of munitions,” a sign of the shortfall in the country’s domestic defense industry after the U.S. and other nations banned the export of key technologies. for advanced armaments at the start of the war.

A presentation at the Treasury Department on Friday went further into how export controls have been effective in limiting Russia’s ability to buy or make new weapons and provide allies with critical information to bolster their sanctions efforts.

One purpose of the meeting was to “provide information that many of them have never received before,” a senior Treasury official said.

Export restrictions have “forced reliance on smuggled chips, solutions and lower-quality imports (eg from China) undermining weapon systems,” the presentation says, and have exposed a vulnerability in “chokepoint” technologies (small, harmless parts). such as bearings and fasteners).’

The extent to which Beijing is helping Russia in its war effort has come under intense scrutiny in Washington. Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call earlier this year about providing military aid to Moscow. The US has gone after Chinese companies and research institutes for aiding the Russian military.

Russia has sought to circumvent Western restrictions on critical technology through vast networks of wealthy oligarchs and cutthroat companies, new analysis says, in an effort to acquire components that are especially needed in Europe and North America.

The effort to avoid penalties has led to a “constant game of cat and mouse” to detect and take action on these channels.