Russia manufactures cruise missiles despite Western sanctions

6 December 2022, 11:41 PM
Wreckage of a Russian missile shot down in Kyiv region on December 5, 2022 (Photo:ANDRII NEBYTOV/Telegram)

Wreckage of a Russian missile shot down in Kyiv region on December 5, 2022 (Photo:ANDRII NEBYTOV/Telegram)

Repeated Russian missile attacks on Ukraine include cruise missiles that were manufactured several months after Western sanctions were supposed to make that difficult, The New York Times reported on Dec. 5.

Based on debris of Russian Kh-101 missiles found near Kyiv after the Nov. 23 missile attack, Conflict Armament Research analysts determined they were produced last summer and in September 2022.

One of the researchers noted Russia’s ability to produce cruise missiles could suggest that Moscow has found the ways to circumvent sanctions and import semiconductors – or that it had ample stockpiles of high-tech components prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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An unnamed U.S. defense intelligence source said Russia likely faces ammunition shortages and has to use a mix of modern and outdated cruise missiles in its attacks.

Damien Spleeters, who led Conflict Armament Research’s investigation, said it was unclear if Russia had to deal with weapons shortages.

“Those claims have been made since April,” he said, “so we’re just pointing to the fact that these cruise missiles being made so recently may be a symptom of that, but it’s not a certainty.”

On Dec. 6, head Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov said Russia has enough missiles to carry out only several more mass strikes.

“Yes, in fact, the stockpile of high-precision weapons in the Russian Federation is already nearing its end,” Budanov said.

“They have long since reached a critical minimum. However, as we can see, they decided to go all the way, that is, to zero,”

On Nov. 22, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Russia has only 119 Iskander, 6980 S-300, 229 Kalibr, 132 air-based Kh-101, Kh-150 and kh-555 missiles left.

On Dec. 5, Russia launched its eighth missile barrage against Ukraine’s power grid. Ukrainian air defenses managed to intercept 60 of 70 incoming cruise missiles.

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