russia: Russia launders Western-made components for its weapons in Ukraine via third countries such as India: Report

LONDON: A report by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British defense and security think tank, claims that companies in India may be secretly helping Western-made components circumvent arms embargoes to end up in Russian weapons deployed in Ukraine.
The report, titled “Operation Z: The Death Throes of an Imperial Delusion”, written by Jack Watling, Senior Researcher for Ground Warfare at RUSI, and Nick Reynolds, Research Analyst for Ground Warfare, RUSI, details how various elements of Russian military equipment found on the battlefield in Ukraine contains foreign-made components banned by Western arms embargoes.
“There is a consistent pattern in all major Russian weapon systems recovered from the battlefield. The 9M949 300mm guided rocket uses a US-made fiber optic gyroscope for its inertial navigation. The air defense system Russian TOR-M2 relies on a British-designed oscillator in the computer controlling the platform’s radar.This pattern is true in the Iskander-M, the Kalibr cruise missile, the Kh-air-launched cruise missile 101 and many more,” the report says.
“Russia’s modern military hardware depends on complex electronics imported from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, China and elsewhere.”

But the authors say it’s not clear that the Western companies making them “knew the Russian military was the end user”.
“Many components are dual-use technologies. In the meantime, Russia has put in place mechanisms for laundering these items through third countries. Restricting access therefore likely means preventing the export to countries like India of goods that are in some cases used for civilian purposes,” the report said.

UK government sources told TOI: “It is likely that some Russian military equipment contains sub-components, some of which are uncontrolled dual-use items, obtained from and via a range of Western and other countries. , including UK… These are commercial and industrial components which are not subject to export controls and are available from suppliers worldwide.
The UK Department for International Trade is currently working internally to understand Russian sourcing networks with a view to working with partners to develop new sanctions against Russia that would make such sourcing more difficult.

It comes just after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited India to announce a new and expanded defense partnership between the two countries, including the UK’s sharing of new technologies with India.

According to the authors, in mid-March the Russian presidential administration set up an interdepartmental committee, overseen by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksei Krivoruchko, to investigate Russian defense equipment in order to establish what might be produced in the country, which could come from “friendly” countries. as well as “the development of secret means to obtain critical components”.
“Russia is ready to use blackmail to keep these channels open. For example, many of the computer components of Russian cruise and ballistic missiles are purchased ostensibly for civilian use as part of the Russian space program. Additionally, there are a myriad of companies based around the world, including in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, India, and China, that will take considerable risk to meet supply needs. Russians. Constraining these supply routes without alienating the governments of these states will be a tricky political needle to thread. This likely requires systematic targeting of Russian special services tasked with orchestrating these supply chain operations,” the report adds.
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A UK government spokesman said: “We take all credible allegations of export control breaches seriously and will take further action if necessary.”


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