Now that Russia has fired – or lost in combat – far more of its missiles than they originally expected, Russian soldiers are increasingly relying on old stockpiles of Soviet-era primitive ammunition. The Ukrainian armed forces, on the other hand, have Western weapons at their disposal to turn the tide in a southern counter-offensive with precise attacks on ammunition depots and key infrastructure such as bridges.
Kiev is well aware that the outcome of the war in Ukraine may depend on whether Russia finds a way to regain access to high-tech chips, and is therefore committed to ensuring that the Russians who can’t get their hands on.
Russian ‘shopping lists’
Ukraine therefore warns that the Kremlin has prepared “shopping lists” of all kinds of high-tech components, the majority of which are made by companies in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Taiwan and Japan. The American news website Politico got hold of one of the Russian lists, which even shows the price per item that Russia is willing to pay. Although the list’s provenance could not be determined, two experts in military supplies would confirm that the list matches Russia’s current military equipment and needs.
However, the most sensitive tech parts should be out of reach of Russia due to the sanctions imposed. The question is whether countries like China are willing to buy components and then sell them to Moscow. The fact that Russia is near despair is shown by the fact that they are currently even removing chips from household appliances such as refrigerators.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal agrees that the technology could prove decisive in the war. “According to our information, the Russians have already exhausted almost half of their arsenal,” he said Politico. Shmyhal also says they estimate Russia has only “four dozen” hypersonic missiles left. “Those missiles are very precise and accurate because of the microchips. But the sanctions against Russia have halted deliveries, and the Russians have no way to replenish those supplies.”