Sanctions are impacting Russian weaponry, says Pentagon

A Ukrainian man walks past a fragment of a Russian tank near a destroyed gas station in the village of Skybyn on May 2, 2022 – AFP

International sanctions are beginning to have an effect on the Russian arms industry, which is struggling to replace the guided missiles its army uses in Ukraine, due to the electronics embargo imposed on Russia, a Pentagon official said on Monday (9) .

Russia has launched so many missiles against Ukraine that it has run out of “precision guided weapons and has problems returning them,” the official, who requested anonymity, told reporters.

“We believe that sanctions and restrictions on exports, especially of electronic components, have had an effect on the Russian defense industrial base,” he added.

That’s why they drop unguided bombs on big cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv that don’t distinguish between military targets and apartment buildings, he explained.

In addition, Russian forces continue to have supply and discipline problems, including among officers who “refuse to obey orders and advance,” he said.

In the face of stubborn Ukrainian resistance, the Russian operation in the south of the country “has only advanced in the last few days”, the US Defense Department official pointed out.

In Donbass, “the Russians have not been able to achieve any significant advances”, he said, something he attributed to the inability of Russian forces to coordinate air strikes and maneuvers on the ground, including the climate that covers the terrain with mud, forcing the tanks to remain on paved roads.

The Russians “didn’t solve all their logistical and maintenance problems,” he added.

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