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

Oct 14, 2022, 10:02 AM | Updated: 2:04 pm
MAKARIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 01: The burnt wreckage of Russian military equipment lies on the road on A...
MAKARIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 01: The burnt wreckage of Russian military equipment lies on the road on April 01, 2022 in Makariv, Ukraine. The territory of the entire Makariv community was liberated from Russian forces on April 01, 2022. The Russian retreat from towns near Kyiv has revealed scores of civilian deaths and the full extent of devastation from Russia’s failed attempt to seize the Ukrainian capital. Many places around the capital Kyiv bear traces of heavy conflict as Russian military attacks continue in many parts of the Ukraine. Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, triggering the largest military attack in Europe since World War II. (Photo by Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
(Photo by Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Western sanctions have sharply curtailed Russia’s ability to replenish the munitions it is using in Ukraine, according to a new analysis from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, forcing Moscow to task its intelligence services with finding ways to evade restrictions and procure the critical technology and parts to sustain its war effort.

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

Sweeping Western restrictions on exports to Russia have forced the country’s defense industrial facilities to periodically go idle. Two of the country’s largest domestic microelectronics manufacturers were forced to temporarily halt production because they weren’t able to secure necessary foreign components. And a shortage of bearings — a low-tech component — has undermined the production of tanks, aircraft, submarines, and other military systems.

Even as early as May, only a few months into the war, the Russian defense industry found itself short of supplies and components for marine diesel engines, helicopter and aircraft parts, and fire control systems, according to the analysis. And Russia has turned to Soviet-era tanks, removing them from storage to use in Ukraine.

The details were shared in a presentation with senior finance officials from nearly 30 nations Friday, who gathered at the Treasury Department for an update from Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves, and Deputy Director of National Intelligence Morgan Muir on the sanctions’ effectiveness in choking off Russia’s military-industrial complex.

“They have to make critical choices about what they can do on the battlefield because they don’t have the tanks they need, they don’t have the equipment they need to make helicopters, they don’t have the semiconductors they need to launch precision missiles into Ukraine,” Adeyemo told CNN in an exclusive interview.

The meeting comes as Russia renews bombardments of civilian infrastructure, including in the capital Kyiv, a sign of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intent on terrorizing the Ukrainian population after months of embarrassing losses on the battlefield.

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

The US and its allies are hurriedly working to send more air defense systems to Ukraine, the latest in tens of billions of dollars of military assistance that’s flowed into the country over the past several months. The effort has turned Ukraine into a nation heavily armed with advanced weapons and the latest technology.

On a parallel track, however, has been the effort to deprive Russia of its own ability to make new, advanced weapons, a process that officials acknowledged in the spring would take months to yield results as the country’s military ran through its stocks.

The effort has been coordinated between the Treasury Department, Pentagon and US intelligence agencies, who each bring experience in the makeup of Russia’s critical supply chains.

“Russia is running out of troops, they’re running out of ammunition. They’re running out of tanks and other materials. And what we’re trying to do using sanctions and export controls to make it harder for them to reinforce their troops and to get the things they need to fight the war in Ukraine,” Adeyemo said.

At the onset of the war, Russia suffered heavy losses and struggled with some of its advanced weapons. When they did use precision guided munitions, Russia suffered failure rates as high as 60%, US officials have previously said.

Now, the US says Russia is “expending munitions at an unsustainable rate” and turning to Iran and North Korea for help, a sign of the shortfalls facing the country’s own domestic defense industry after the US and other nations banned the export of key technologies needed for advanced weaponry at the start of the war.

The presentation delivered Friday at the Treasury Department went further in spelling out how the export controls have been effective in limiting Russia’s ability to either purchase or make new weapons — and in providing allies with critical information to tighten their own sanctions efforts.

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

The export restrictions have forced “reliance on contraband chips, work-arounds, and lower-quality imports (for example from China) undermining weapons systems,” the presentation reads, and have “exposed vulnerability in ‘chokepoint’ technologies (small and innocuous parts such as bearings and fasteners).”

The extent to which Beijing is assisting Russia in its war effort has been the subject of intense scrutiny in Washington. Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping in a telephone call earlier this year against providing military assistance to Moscow. The US has gone after Chinese companies and research institutes for supporting Russia’s military.

Still, Adeyemo said Beijing so far hasn’t been much help.

“China can’t provide Russia with what China doesn’t have,” he said. “And China doesn’t produce the most advanced semiconductors. Those are produced by our allies and partners. So Russia is searching for these things. The reason they’re using their intelligence services and front companies to try and get them is because the countries they would naturally turn to don’t have them.”

Russia has sought to skirt the Western restrictions on critical technology through vast networks of wealthy oligarchs and front companies, the new analysis says, targeting Europe and North America in particular in an effort to procure the required components.

The effort to prevent the sanctions evasion has led to a “continuing cat-and-mouse game to detect and take action against these channels.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

An Egyptian archeologist speaks at a recently discovered tomb dated to the Old Kingdom, 2700–2200...

Egypt unveils tombs and sarcophagus in new excavation

Egypt on Thursday unveiled dozens of new archaeological discoveries, including two ancient tombs, at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside of the capital Cairo.
7 days ago
A Yanomami youth carries a toddler on his shoulders at the Saude Indigenous House, a center respons...
Eleoneore Hughes and Edmar Barros, Associated Press

Why Brazil’s Yanomami are being decimated by disease, mining

Severe malnutrition and disease, particularly malaria, are decimating the Yanomami population in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, and on Jan. 20 the federal government declared a public health emergency.
7 days ago
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, tours a neighborhood in Kharkiv ...
Hanna Arhirova, Associated Press

Russian attacks on Ukraine reported; tank training to start

Ukrainian officials say Russia has launched a new wave of missile and self-exploding drone attacks on the country.
8 days ago
woman leans off skyscraper for video content...
Larry D. Curtis

Sundance: ‘Fantastic Machine’ entertains while examining relationship between humans and camera

While the Utah's political leaders grapple with laws to combat the dangers of social media, Utah's Sundance Film Festival premiered "Fantastic Machine," turning the camera lens not only the camera but what it has meant to humans — spoiler: it has drastically changed us.
9 days ago
U.S. M1/A1 Abrams tanks...
TARA COPP and LOLITA BALDOR Associated Press

Why the US flipped on sending tanks to Ukraine

For months, U.S. officials balked at sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, insisting they were too complicated and too hard to maintain and repair.
9 days ago
This diagram made available by NASA shows the estimated trajectory of asteroid 2023 BU, in red, aff...
Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

Asteroid coming exceedingly close to Earth, but will miss

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest encounters ever recorded.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Western sanctions hurting Russia’s ability to replenish military supplies, intelligence analysis shows