Russia is missing some weapon components like modern optics and electronics as a result of international trade restrictions, Military Intelligence (HUR) spokesperson Andrii Yusov said on Jan. 12.
This statement indicates that Western sanctions have a tangible effect on the Russian defense industry, although multiple reports show Moscow continues to obtain sensitive sanctioned goods.
"They (Russia) face several restrictions and sanctions. They (sanctions) create additional complications when it comes to modern optics, electronics, and microchips, which is what the enemy lacks," Yusov said on air.
The HUR spokesperson noted that Moscow is trying to establish "gray import schemes" to smuggle in the necessary equipment.
"Russia is one of the world's leading smuggler countries. But as far as the development of modern, high-tech weapons is concerned, there are difficulties," Yusov added.
Yusov nevertheless said that Russia still wields the old Soviet technological base and has the ability to modernize existing projects.
In a comment for the French newspaper Le Monde, HUR chief, Kyrylo Budanov, said Russia had likely increased ammunition production since the summer of 2023.
This came at the cost of munitions' quality, which, for example, negatively impacts their accuracy, Budanov added.
Following the outbreak of the full-scale war, Western countries imposed extensive sanctions against Russia, banning imports of electronics and other goods critical for the production of high-tech weapons like missiles or drones.
In spite of these restrictions, Moscow continues to acquire dual-use goods via third-party countries like Kazakhstan, Turkey, or China.
Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAZK) identified around 2,500 foreign components in Russian weaponry, mostly from U.S. producers who do not sell their products to Russia directly.
Kyiv's allies have sought to crack down on the Kremlin's ability to circumvent their sanctions. The EU's latest sanction package included a ban for third-country entities to re-export sensitive goods to Russia.