Russians are using semiconductors from kitchen appliances in military tools, says U.S. commerce secretary

U.S. sanctions and export controls imposed on the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and aimed toward crippling its economic system are beginning to have an effect on Russian battlefield operations.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a pair of congressional hearings this week informed lawmakers that Russia has been using semiconductors from dishwashers and fridges for its military tools. 

“Our approach was to deny Russia technology, technology that would cripple their ability to continue a military operation. And that is exactly what we are doing,” Raimondi stated on Wednesday. 

She stated she has heard anecdotes from the Ukrainian prime minister that among the Russian tools left behind comprises semiconductors from kitchen appliances as a result of the protection industrial base is having a tough time producing extra chips by itself and is dealing with export controls that restrict its means to import the technology from different nations. 

Export controls and sanctions have impacted different elements of the weapons business, based on Raimondi who stated two Russian tank manufacturing factories have not too long ago shut down, and plenty of Russian auto producers have furloughed staff. 

A senior protection official additionally informed reporters earlier this week that sanctions on Russia are beginning to have an effect on Russia’s means to replenish its munitions, too. 

“We know that — that the sanctions are responsible for — for making it harder for Mr. Putin to replenish those stocks, particularly when it comes to some of the electronic components that go into precision-guided munitions,” the official stated. 

Precision-guided munitions, based on the Congressional Research Service, use GPS, laser steerage, or inertial navigation techniques to hone in on the supposed goal and reduce the harm to different constructions. 

A low stock of precision-guided munitions might clarify why the Russians are more and more counting on “dumb bombs,” significantly in town of Mariupol. Deemed “dumb” as a result of they are not precision-guided, these bombs are much less discriminate. 

The Russians have additionally used hypersonic weapons in the struggle in Ukraine, and one cause to make use of hypersonics towards the kind of targets they are is as a result of they’re rapidly working by means of their stock of precision-guided munitions. 

A senior protection official stated this week that the Russians have launched an estimated 10 to 12 hypersonic weapons into Ukraine over the course of the invasion. 

But Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley in a congressional listening to on Wednesday stated the way in which the Russians are using hypersonics hasn’t given them a lot of a battlefield benefit thus far. 

“But other than the speed of the weapon in terms of its effect on a given target, we are not seeing really significant or game-changing effects to date with the delivery of the small number of hypersonics that the Russians have used,” Milley stated. 

Editor’s Note: This story has been up to date to appropriate the spelling of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s title.

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