According to Russian government officials and propagandists, Moscow is preparing for a long war in Ukraine, as well as a long-term confrontation with the West. Despite the 9th package of EU sanctions, adopted to put more pressure on the Russian Federation, many Western companies and factories continue to be directly connected to the Russian defense industry, which is still operating without much hindrance and exploiting intermediary firms.
Under sanctions, the Russian military-industrial complex is unable to fully modernize. It was thanks to Western technology, equipment, and components that the Russians improved the performance of their T-72 main battle tanks, which Russia has been deploying massively since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In this regard, sanctions must be imposed on the enterprises that contribute to the technological upgrade of Russia’s defense and security sector. It is international sanctions that deprive the Russian defense industry of the opportunity to produce and maintain weapons that are critically important for the ongoing war against Ukraine.
Today, it is increasingly difficult for Russia to gain access to advanced technology and Western financial systems, which hampers the ability of the Russian defense industry to produce weapons and replace those destroyed in combat. For example, Russia’s Kh-101 air-to-surface guided missiles rely heavily on components and technology produced by companies based in the United States and Europe.
Like all other branches of the Russian military industry, the production of guided weapons is critically dependent on Western parts, and their availability is ensured through the use of civilian infrastructure and intermediary firms located outside of Russia.
Conflict Armament Research (CAR) researchers have gathered new evidence that the cruise missiles deployed by Russian forces to strike critical infrastructure in Ukraine were manufactured at most two months before their were launched. Russia is still capable of producing guided weapons (such as the Kh-101 cruise missile) even with sanctions already in place. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the toughest possible sanctions against the Russian military industry.
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