Russia continues to buy imported components for its weapons, despite the sanctions. This is stated in the report "Western electronics at the heart of the Russian military machine" published today, which was made by experts from the Royal United Kingdom Defense Research Institute (RUSI).
The Russian army uses weapons in the war with Ukraine, which require imported electronics, and Russia has no analogue. These components are purchased using gray circuits.
RUSI specialists examined Russian weapons found in Ukraine and found at least 450 types of imported components produced in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany.
Most of the foreign components that RUSI found in Russian weapons are made in the USA - 70%. At the same time, some of the components were produced after the imposition of sanctions. For example, components of the Kalibr cruise missile were produced in 2018 and 2019, four years after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia over the 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
Orlan-10 contains a Sony camera on an American Hextronik engine and a control system based on a microcontroller from the Swiss company STMicroelectronics. The Aqueduct radio communication complex contains more than a dozen components manufactured by Western companies, for example, a microcontroller from the American company Analog Devices and a digital signal processor manufactured by the American Texas Instruments.
The report notes that third countries are often cited as buyers for technology transfers. There is a whole network of suppliers and sellers in East Asia and other countries who are ready to supply such components to Russia, the Reuters and RUSI investigation notes.