69% of the foreign components retrieved from the drones used by Russia in Ukraine originate from US companies, according to the Yermak-McFaul International Working Group and KSE Institute.
The researchers examined 174 foreign components removed from three drone models used by Russian troops on the battlefield in Ukraine.
The Russian army mainly uses three drone models: Shahed-136/131, Lancet, and Orlan-10. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia has used more than 3,000 drones against Ukraine.
According to the report, in the production of its drones, Russia relies heavily on foreign-made components, including microelectronics.
Among the components analyzed, three American companies — Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, and Microchip Technology — as well as the Swiss STMicroelectronics — manufactured the most.
Most often, Russia receives critical drone components via third countries such as China that accounts for 67% of shipments, with 17% of them going through Hong Kong.
In response to escalating restrictions, Russia employs tactics to obscure its procurement efforts. Such tactics involve illegal networks, disguising customs data, one-day shell companies, expanding intermediary entities, diversifying suppliers, and orchestrating fake transit operations.
The group’s experts propose to align sanctions lists between partner countries, to unify lists of dual-use goods based on the Harmonized System and to expand the categories of goods subject to sanctions based on the Harmonized System.
It is recommended to improve cooperation between producers and authorities in order to improve compliance with sanctions and implement effective restrictive measures.
The authors of the report also call on governments to investigate well-known companies to demonstrate their commitment to enforcing sanctions.
According to experts, more effective use of existing institutions and mechanisms is needed. In particular, the use of anti-money laundering (AML) mechanisms can strengthen export control measures, as sanctions circumvention often has similarities with money laundering.
B4Ukraine is calling on businesses and policymakers to do more to restrict Russia’s access to critical tech and help save lives in Ukraine.