A senior US defense official has claimed that Russia is struggling to resupply its troops in Ukraine with new weapons and equipment because of the sanctions imposed against it in response to its invasion.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official confirmed Ukraine’s claim that the sanctions have affected the production of new Russian military equipment due to a shortage in the supply of foreign-made components.
Since the start of the invasion on February 24, Russia has reportedly lost more than $5 billion in military equipment such as armored combat vehicles and aircraft.
“There has been an effect on Putin’s ability to restock and resupply, particularly in the realm of components to some of his systems and his precision-guided munitions,” the official told The War Zone. “They’ve already faced an issue in terms of replenishing their inventory because of components to some of those systems.”
Some new fresh data, April 19.
Extremely high losses the Russians are taking in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/wsh8hlFbnc
— UkraineWorld (@ukraine_world) April 19, 2022
Sanctions Against Russia
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” against Ukraine, Russia has been hit by a barrage of sanctions, mostly from Western countries.
The US and the UK have imposed a ban on the export of dual-use goods, or items with both civilian and military purposes, such as vehicle parts and engines.
Additionally, the UK is imposing sanctions on Russia’s private military firm Wagner Group, which allegedly functions as an arms-length mercenary unit of the Russian Army.
The US recently announced that it would prohibit new investments in Russia and impose sanctions on two Russian financial institutions and major state-owned enterprises.
Despite the sanctions, President Putin claimed that the “economic blitz” has failed, instead leading to a “deterioration of the economy in the West.”
Skeptical of Claims
Foundation for Defense of Democracies research analyst John Hardie said that the sanctions against Russia would continue to undermine the country’s defense industries by hindering the production of military equipment.
However, he said he is “skeptical” about claims that the sanctions will limit Russia’s ability to prosecute the war.
Russia already faced sanctions after it annexed Crimea in 2014. However, these sanctions have reportedly not affected Russia’s increased production of military equipment.
A report by Disclose revealed that France secretly armed Russia between 2015 and 2020. “France has issued 76 export licenses to Russia for military equipment worth a total of 152 million euros ($164 million),” the report states.
The Washington Post also reported that a Russian drone shot down in 2017 was found to contain parts from a half-dozen Western companies.