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Russian state defense conglomerate skirts sanctions to buy electronic warfare equipment in the West to use in Ukraine

Source: iStories

Russian investigative outlet Important Stories reports that Rostec, a Russian state-owned defense conglomerate, has been buying electronic warfare components from the U.S., which it then uses against the Ukrainian Army.

Foreign components are necessary for manufacturing Khibiny electronic countermeasures systems, which can jam air defense systems and protect Russian aircraft from them. The Rostec-owned company Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) produces the Khibiny systems, but due to sanctions cannot legally acquire NATO components.

Important Stories discovered that Testkomplekt, a formally private Russian company, which is evidently run by the wife of a KRET manager, buys the components from shell companies owned by affiliated businessmen in Hong Kong and China. Then Testkomplekt sells the components to the company Radiopriborsnab, which is 49.9 percent controlled by a KRET subsidiary. Because 49.9 percent is technically not a controlling stake, Radiopriborsnab is not considered a Russian defense company and so not all sanctions apply to it.

In December, Important Stories, along with Reuters and British think-tank RUSI, revealed a similar Russian scheme for the acquisition of drone components.

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