A hole in the sanctions: the mass media revealed a scheme under which the Russian Federation imports any goods without restrictions

Yury Kobzar14:37, 07/31/235 min.4879

In fact, Russia can buy everything it needs for war, without limits on volume.

Russia imports almost any sanctioned goods in sufficient quantities for itself , without having significant problems with ensuring military production. 

This is stated in the journalistic investigation of the “Verstka” publication .The authors of the publication note that in the last six months alone, Russia imported prohibited chips from Western companies for a total amount of more than half a billion dollars. 

They are used in the production of missiles and other weapons. In addition, the aggressor country imported machines for defense factories worth millions of dollars, Western spare parts for civil aviation, as well as iPhone electronics worth $389 million. 

All this follows from closed data of Russian customs statistics, which journalists were able to study.

photo by verstka.media
photo by verstka.media

“Our investigation showed that almost anything can be imported into Russia from anywhere in the world – from a dual-purpose chip to a turbojet engine for Airbus. Western companies participate in schemes through third countries, and Russian authorities safely bypass European and American sanctions,” the publication notes.

As the journalists found out, almost all Western electronics reach Russia via China and Hong Kong. 

We are talking about the products of both well-known brands, such as the American Intel and AMD, as well as less well-known, but no less popular Russian brands Analog Devices Inc., Xilinx, Microchip Technology, Texas Instruments, Infineon, etc. Hundreds of companies are involved in the import schemes of these brands under sanctions. 

And of the 25 largest importers, 11 are direct suppliers of defense enterprises. In some cases, deliveries are made not through a number of intermediaries, but directly, which looks nonsense against the background of the introduced sanctions.

photo by verstka.media
photo by verstka.media

For example, in May, the Russian company “Unimatic” imported milling machines directly from Italy, having purchased them directly from the manufacturer – the company OMV Officine. 

And this despite the fact that such products are under the export control of the European Union, and one of the main customers of “Unimatics” is “Zavod No. 9” – the leading manufacturer of tank guns in Russia.

But more often European manufacturers still send their products to China, and from there it arrives in Russia, as was the case with German Arinstein machines.

photo by verstka.media
photo by verstka.media

The situation is similar with sanctioned civilian imports. Thus, Russian airlines continue to operate Western-made aircraft precisely because they have established a scheme of “parallel import” of the spare parts they need. And ordinary Russians can continue to freely buy “iPhones” at almost the old price, despite the ban on the supply of products of this brand to Russia.

The same is the case with other electronics, in particular server equipment from Dell, which has officially left the Russian market, but its products are delivered to the Russian Federation via China, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Thailand and the UAE.As business representatives told journalists, all such sub-sanctioned imports take place according to one simple scheme.

“A company is registered in a third country.

Then this company either buys the desired product on the market, or orders it directly from the manufacturer and re-exports it to Russia. Both Russian and foreign companies register.

But the option with a foreign founder, more reliable, because some suppliers monitor it,” say entrepreneurs involved in the schemes.Most often, a country with a large economy, such as China or Turkey, is chosen for such a scheme. 

But the countries of the former USSR are also actively involved – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Uzbekistan. 

photo by verstka.media
photo by verstka.media

However, it is quite possible to close these schemes, the Russians admit. An example here was Japan, which really strictly monitors compliance with sanctions.

“They themselves check the destination of the cargo ten times, who is ordering. They then even send their emissaries to the factories: “We sent you 10 boxes of such a range” – they will come and check, have they really arrived at your factory, have they really been installed?

These are the Japanese, these are pendants. And the America-China business, pf-f, cargoes go back and forth, and no one gives a damn,” says the Russian businessman.

A separate problem is that a lot of Chinese-made goods arrive in Russia, which are formally not subject to sanctions, because China did not introduce them. So the Russians buy Chinese drones, anti-drone guns, walkie-talkies, various spare parts, medical supplies – all in unlimited quantities.

Sanctions against Russia are the latest news

In July, the Council of the EU extended for another six months the sanctions against Russia, introduced in connection with the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

We are talking about the entire array of sanctions restrictions – from finances to the supply of military equipment.However, the media is increasingly reporting that Russia freely imports whatever it wants. 

For example, the aggressor continues to receive Western components for Kh-101 cruise missiles, Iskander ballistic missiles, and hypersonic Daggers. 

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , components of American (81%), Swiss (8%), Japanese and German production (3.5% each) are found in the ammunition fragments.

(C)UNIAN 2023


  1. Iran: a nazi country with an openly declared objective of the complete annihilation of another state, has been sanctioned for decades. It has not moderated its behavior one iota.
    Because a) sanctions don’t work and b) there is no shortage of criminal dictatorships that are willing to find sanctions workarounds.
    Russia: a nazi country with the declared objective of the complete annihilation of another state, has been under (very feeble) sanctions for 9 years.
    They have achieved nothing, for the same reason as the failed Iran sanctions.
    Only decisive military power will force a change of strategy.

  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/30/technology/russia-propaganda-video-games.html

    Russia Takes Its Ukraine Information War Into Video Games

    Propaganda is appearing in Minecraft and other popular games and discussion groups as the Kremlin tries to win over new audiences.

    Russian propaganda is spreading into the world’s video games.

    In Minecraft, the immersive game owned by Microsoft, Russian players re-enacted the battle for Soledar, a city in Ukraine that Russian forces captured in January, posting a video of the game on their country’s most popular social media network, VKontakte.

    A channel on the Russian version of World of Tanks, a multiplayer warfare game, commemorated the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in May with a recreation of the Soviet Union’s parade of tanks in Moscow in 1945. On Roblox, the popular gaming platform, a user created an array of Interior Ministry forces in June to celebrate the national holiday, Russia Day.

    These games and adjacent discussion sites like Discord and Steam are becoming online platforms for Russian agitprop, circulating to new, mostly younger audiences a torrent of propaganda that the Kremlin has used to try to justify the war in Ukraine.

    In this virtual world, players have adopted the letter Z, a symbol of the Russian troops who invaded last year; embraced legally specious Russian territorial claims in Crimea and other places; and echoed President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to denigrate Ukrainians as Nazis and blame the West for the conflict.

    “Glory to Russia,” declared a video tutorial on how to construct a flagpole with a Russian flag on Minecraft. It showed a Russian flag over a cityscape labeled Luhansk, one of the Ukrainian provinces that Russia has illegally annexed.

  3. The best way to end it is to give all companies a fine if any of their products is spotted in Russia.
    This way they will think twice before selling something to some suspicious country in China.

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