Russia Is Getting Around Sanctions to Secure Supply of Key Chips for War

  • Imports of chips from Turkey, UAE have soared since invasion
  • European goods may be reaching Russia through those countries

Russia looks to be successfully working around European Union and Group of Seven sanctions to secure crucial semiconductors and other technologies for its war in Ukraine, according to a senior European diplomat.

Russian imports in general have largely returned to their pre-war 2020 levels and analysis of trade data suggests that advanced chips and integrated circuits made in the EU and other allied nations are being shipped to Russia through third countries such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan, the diplomat said, pointing to those private assessments.

EU and G-7 countries have introduced multiple rounds of sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine a year ago in an effort to degrade the Russian war machine and undermine its economy. The data suggest that the real impact in some areas is so far falling short of what officials might have hoped for.

“Just signing up to new sanctions is not enough,” said Daniel Tannebaum, global anti-financial crime practice leader at consulting firm Oliver Wyman. “Governments now need enforcement mechanisms.”

Shipments from China to Russia have also surged as Beijing plays an increasingly important role in supplying Moscow, the diplomat added, asking not to be named discussing sensitive information. Those countries outside the EU haven’t sanctioned Russia themselves, but most have repeatedly denied they are helping the Kremlin.

The EU has sanctioned nearly 1,500 individuals, restricted exports on hundreds of goods and technologies, and targeted many of Moscow’s key revenue sources. But some officials worry that the bloc still lacks an effective apparatus to enforce those measures and lags behind the US.

Kremlin not able to fulfil Russian ultranationalists' demands concerning its war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin accused a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group of conducting a border incursion in Bryansk Oblast, Russia on 2 March. The incident generated a wave of discontent among Russian officials and ultranationalist groups.

The ISW described the responses to the incident of various Russian government officials and military bloggers.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on questions regarding any change of the "special military operation" status to "war" because of the incident.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin sarcastically observed that Russia had been allowing Ukraine to violate its "red lines".

Russian officials such as Crimean occupation head Sergey Aksyonov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called on the Kremlin to expand security measures and conduct retaliatory operations. Kadyrov, for example, called on the Kremlin to target civilians to punish the perpetrators of this incident, effectively calling for Russia to conduct war crimes.

Kremlin-affiliated military bloggers and former proxy officials also called on the Kremlin to designate the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian Volunteer Corps as terrorist organisations, and compared the incident to the Beslan school siege in North Ossetia in 2004.

Russian military bloggers also called on the Kremlin to use this incident to form a Supreme High Command to undertake all political, military, and economic decisions to ensure that Russia wins the war. Other military bloggers also linked the incident to recent Putin statements that the FSB needs to strengthen border protection and advocated for more resources for border units. Some military bloggers called on Russia to form assassination squads to kill Ukrainian officials and form exclusion zones at the border.

The ISW believes that these responses to the Bryansk incident indicate that the Kremlin is incapable of satisfying the demands of Russian ultranationalist groups.

ISW reports: "These responses indicate that the ultranationalist community is largely dissatisfied with numerous aspects of the Kremlin’s inability to fully commit to its own false rhetoric that Russia is fighting an "existential war" in Ukraine.

The Kremlin does not have the capacity to satisfy all of these ultranationalists’ demands and may seize this opportunity to introduce additional security provisions in Russia that would benefit Putin without committing Russia to a higher risk or domestic unrest — such as declaring war."

Estonia's Foreign Minister: Only alternative to Ukraine's membership in NATO is its nuclear status.

Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, believes that membership in the North Atlantic Alliance is the only option for guaranteeing the security of Ukraine with the exception of nuclear weapons—but this option is practically impossible.

"If we say that we would not in practice see Ukraine as a member of NATO after this war, it would mean that we are afraid – or predict that – Russia will attack again and then NATO countries will be involved in a world war, or at least a war over the European continent. This is already admitting that large-scale war will repeat itself," Reinsalu said.

He rejected any alternatives to Ukraine's membership in the Alliance – in particular, a plan to get closer to NATO in exchange for Kyiv's greater willingness to negotiate with the Russian Federation, which the media reported was being promoted by Britain, Germany and France.

"What's the point of trying to copy NATO if you are making it clear that it is not NATO? It's like a half-NATO. I would be rather suspicious of that replica. Honestly, the only guarantee except NATO would be to deliver nuclear weapons to Ukraine," Reinsalu said, at the same time emphasising that such a step is impossible and undesirable in view of the commitments of the nuclear states of the Alliance regarding the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

According to Reinsal, leaving Ukraine outside the West’s security umbrella will leave Kyiv in uncertainty and undermine the country's recovery process.

"Imagine, we are not giving Article Five-based guarantees to Ukraine after the war. So, we will then encourage Ukraine to establish their self-defence in a 'hedgehog strategy,' like they are in the Wild West, standing in their fort with rifles and waiting for Russia. I think it will create a grey zone in the midst of Europe. It would be a grand negative signal on their aspirations towards the European Union, from the security perspective, about investment assurances, and everything else," the Estonian Foreign Minister added.

Missile attack on Zaporizhzhia: 8-month-old girl killed along with her family.

Among 11 people killed in a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia is an 8-month-old girl that died along with her family.

Search and rescue workers have recovered 10 killed people from under the rubble, including an 8-month-old child. The girl died together with her family.

Search and rescue workers have saved 11 people. They have also recovered four cats and a dog from under the rubble.

At the moment, the specialists continue to search for killed or wounded people and dismantle the destroyed structures of the building.

Utility services have taken out more than 404 tonnes of construction materials. Therapists of the State Emergency Service have provided 100 residents of the house and relatives of the injured or killed people with assistance directly at the scene.

Russians attack Kherson Oblast, kill a man.

A local resident of the village of Lvove in, Kherson Oblast, was killed in a Russian attack . The Russian army attacked the village of Lvove in Tiahynka hromada today at noon. One person was killed.

A 57-year-old man was injured in his chest with a fragment during the attack. He died in his own house.