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Western military goods worth billions of dollars continue to flow into Russia despite international sanctions, the Russian independent outlet Vertska reported on July 31.
An extensive investigation led by Vertska journalists revealed that during the first half of 2023, Russia imported numerous military products, including sanctioned Western microchips valued at $502 million. These chips are used in the production of missiles and other weapons. Additionally, Russia was able to receive civil aviation equipment worth at least $171 million and iPhones worth $389 million.
The investigation was based on closed data reports of Russian customs, communication with logisticians, forwarders, entrepreneurs familiar with illegal import schemes.
"Almost anything can be brought into Russia from anywhere in the world - from a dual-use chip to a turbojet engine for Airbus," Vertska stated.
Western companies participate in the scheme by registering a "new company" in third countries to act as an exporter, allowing Russian authorities to successfully bypass European and American sanctions.
Dual-use goods, such as microchips and microprocessors, were among the first products to be sanctioned in the outset of the war. The Russian military is critically dependent on these foreign-made microchips and microprocessors.
Russia's X-101 cruise missile, for example, is one of the most modern missiles in service and requires an Intel processor, Xilinx and Texas Instruments chips, as well as an Analog Devices Inc. transceiver. All of these components are freely imported into the Russian Federation. In fact, hundreds of companies export dual-purpose chips to Russia. Among the 25 largest importers, 11 are direct suppliers of Russia's military-industrial complex.