Britain says sanctions are also having an impact on Russia’s defense sector

Kyiv – The European Union’s total ban on Russian coal imports came into effect on Thursday, as Britain’s defense intelligence said Western sanctions are increasingly having an impact, even on Russia’s arms exports.

Britain said Moscow was already strained by the need to produce armored fighting vehicles for its troops in Ukraine and was therefore “most likely unable to fulfill some export orders,” in a sector it has long been proud of.

The update from UK Defense Intelligence, which highlights “the growing impact of Western sanctions,” agrees with Western belief that the range of measures they have imposed on the Kremlin since February 24 invasion of Ukraine are increasingly affecting the Russian economy.

The update said that due to the war and sanctions, “their military-industrial capacity is now significantly strained and the credibility of many of their weapon systems has been undermined by their association with the poor performance of the Russian armed forces.”


Russia’s military credibility came under more pressure on Wednesday when Ukraine said nine Russian warplanes had been destroyed i A series of explosions at an airbase in Russian-controlled Crimea, apparently the result of a Ukrainian attack.

Russia denied planes were damaged in the blasts – or that an attack took place. But satellite photos clearly showed that at least seven fighter jets had been blown up on the base and others were likely damaged.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace dismissed Russian explanations for the blasts, including a wayward cigarette butt, as “excuses”.

“If you just look at the footage of two simultaneous explosions that aren’t quite next to each other and some of the damage that has even been reported by the Russian authorities, I think it’s clear that this isn’t something that happens when someone drops a cigarette,” Wallace said.


Thursday was also the day an EU ban on coal imports from Russia came into effect after a long phase-in stretching back to April. The 27-nation EU said it would affect about 25% of Russia’s coal exports and cause a loss of about $8 billion a year. The EU is also trying to wean itself off Russian gas imports but is too dependent to impose a full ban.

As the war nears half a year, Russia faces other challenges as well.

As Russia continues to suffer losses in its invasion of Ukraine, th The Kremlin has refused to disclose this a full-blown mobilization, also because such a move could be very unpopular with President Vladimir Putin. This has instead led to covert recruitment attempts involving the use of prisoners to fill the labor shortage.


This also comes amid reports that hundreds of Russian soldiers are refusing to fight and are trying to withdraw from the military.

On the ground in Ukraine itself, the war continued with repeated bursts of shell-fire.

According to the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region Valentyn Reznichenko, three people were killed in the city of Nikopol during the night, nine others were injured in the shelling, which damaged about 40 apartment buildings.

Nikopol is located about 50 kilometers downstream from Zaporizhia. According to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, eleven people were killed in the Donetsk region last day, six of them in Bakhmut. Bakhmut is a key target for Russian forces attempting to advance east.

Governor of Russia’s Kursk region Roman Starovoit said on Thursday that two villages near Ukraine’s border – Tetkino and Popovo-Lezhachi – were shelled by Ukraine. Initially, he did not provide any information about the victims or the amount of damage.



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Sarah Y. Kim

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