Sanctions force Russia to use computer chips from refrigerators, dishwashers

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The US-led embargo is forcing Russia to use computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in some military equipment, Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo said Wednesday.

“We have received reports from Ukrainians that when they found Russian military equipment on the ground, it was filled with semiconductors that they had taken out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Raymondo told a Senate hearing, noting that he had recently met with the Ukrainian prime minister. Has done.

U.S. technology exports to Russia have fallen nearly 70 percent since the embargo began in late February, according to Raymondo, whose department oversees export controls, which make up a large part of the embargo package. Three dozen other countries have adopted similar export bans, which also apply to Belarus.

“Our vision is to deny Russia technology – technology that will cripple their ability to carry out military operations. And that’s exactly what we’re doing, “he said in response to a question from Sen Jin Shaheen (DN.H.) about the impact of export controls.

The computer chip industry has cut off supplies to Russia in response to US sanctions

The semiconductor episode came from Ukrainian officials who told the secretary that when they opened the seized Russian tanks, they found parts from refrigerators and commercial and industrial equipment that appeared to be made for other unavailable components, said Robin, a spokesman for the Commerce Department. Patterson said.

The number of U.S. shipments to Russia under the new rules – semiconductors, telecommunications equipment, lasers, avionics and maritime technology – fell 85 percent and their value fell 97 percent compared to the same period in 2021, Patterson said.

In his Senate remarks, Raymondo also pointed to a recent report that two Russian tank manufacturers had to stop production due to a lack of material. The White House, which has previously highlighted those reports, said that the Uralvgenzavod Corporation and the Chelyabinsk tractor plant had stopped production.

Computer chips, also known as semiconductors, are the brains that handle most modern electronics, from equipment to fighter jets. Russia manufactures some of its own chips, historically relying on imports from Asian and Western companies.

The world’s largest computer chip companies began shutting down supplies to Russia in late February after US-led sanctions began.

Russian drones fired over Ukraine filled the western part

The United States and other Western nations have already regulated sales of chips and other electronic components designed specifically for military use to Russia. Even before Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, these sales required an official license.

The new rules tighten those restrictions and block the sale of most dual-use chips to Russian non-military users, including the high-tech industry, who have both military and commercial applications.

The Biden administration says the sanctions would cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports and undermine its ability to diversify its economy and support its military. This restriction is not designed to block the delivery of consumer electronics.

In an innovative move that the United States has used before – against China’s Huawei – it is forcing global companies to comply with the rules and block such sales to Russia if they use US manufacturing equipment or software to manufacture chips. Analysts say most chip factories around the world use software designed in the United States.

Previous research has shown that Russia’s military has long relied on Western electronics. According to investigators from the London-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group, which dismantled the drones, Russian military drones have been firing on Ukraine in recent years, filling it with Western electronics and components.

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