Skip to content Skip to footer

Russia is using parts from washing machines and refrigerators to run its tanks

Russia continues to notice the sanctions imposed by the governments of other countries and the different companies before the invasion of Ukraine. And these, in addition to affecting the economy, are also harming the development of military weapons. Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce of the United States, has assured in a senate hearing that the Ukrainians are finding “semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators” in the equipment that the Russian troops abandon in the Ukrainian territory.

Robyn Patterson, a spokesperson for the United States Department of Commerce, mentions that it was the Ukrainian officials who told Raimondo about the discovery of components intended for household appliances in the Russian tanks seized in the country. These parts seem to serve Russian military equipment as a replacement for other semiconductors necessary for the operation of military equipment, since most of the components come from the West, and Russia, in the face of sanctions, does not have access to them.

In fact, and as reported by The Washington Post after Patterson's statements, the shipment of US products intended for the development of equipment, including semiconductors, telecommunications devices or components for the development of maritime technology, has decreased by 85% compared to the same period in 2021. Its value has also fallen by 97% compared to the same period the previous year.

Paralyze capacity building in Russia: the target of US sanctions

Credit: Katie Godowski The objective of the United States since the beginning of the war has been to limit the development capacity in Russia and thus, therefore, prevent the country from continuing with the invasion of Ukraine. Although it may seem that the reuse of components initially intended for refrigerators or dishwashers is allowing the country led by Vladimir Putin to advance in the manufacture of military equipment, the spokesman for the US Department of Commerce has assured that two of the largest manufacturers of Russian tanks have had a dormant production because of these sanctions.

Our approach was to deny Russia technology, technology that would cripple their ability to continue a military operation. And that is exactly what we are doing”.

Robyn Patterson, spokeswoman for the United States Department of Commerce, declared. Earlier, the United States also confirmed that two major tank plants in Russia had to suspend production due to sanctions. The White House also highlighted that some 1,000 companies have ceased doing business in the country.