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8 Ağu 2022

David Gauthier-Villars,
Steve Stecklow,
Maurice Tamman,
Stephen Grey,
Andrew Macaskill, Reuters

New investigation finds shipment of Western computer parts used in Russian weapons continued after invasion; incl. cos. comments

As Russian missiles struck Ukraine, Western tech still flowed, 8 August 2022

With the tip of a hunting knife, a senior Ukrainian security official removed 18 screws and lifted off the lid of a small black metal box. Inside were four sliding panels packed with scores of computer chips...The black metal box, as well as other Russian weaponry shown to Reuters, were collected on the battlefield by Ukraine’s military...But many of the most important electronic components inside are microcontrollers, programmable chips and signal processors stamped with the names of American chip-makers, including Texas Instruments Inc; Altera, owned by Intel Corp; Xilinx, owned by Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD); and Maxim Integrated Products Inc, acquired last year by Analog Devices Inc. Chips made by Cypress Semiconductor, now owned by Germany’s Infineon AG, were also visible...

The Western components in the Russian weapons were examined as part of an investigation by Reuters in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a London-based defense think tank, and iStories, a Russia-focused investigative news site...

After the invasion, the United States and other countries banned high-tech exports to Russia to try to cripple its defense industry and tech companies announced that they had halted all exports to Russia. Yet the reporting team found that the flow of Western brand-name computer parts to Russia hasn’t stopped, with thousands of shipments since the invasion of Ukraine. The shippers were mainly unauthorized suppliers, but they also included some manufacturers.

Reuters provided to AMD, Analog Devices, Infineon, Intel and Texas Instruments data from Russian customs records on shipments of their products to Russia that arrived after the invasion.

Three of the manufacturers – AMD, Analog Devices and Infineon – said they had launched internal investigations after Reuters provided the customs data showing thousands of recent shipments of their products to Russia by third-party sellers. Infineon and Texas Instruments said products that they had shipped were already in transit at the time of the invasion. Intel said goods it shipped were internal company deliveries before it ceased its Russian operations in early April.

Asked about their chips’ use in Russian weapons systems, the companies said they comply with export controls and trade sanctions. Infineon said it was “deeply concerned should our products be used for purposes for which they were not designed.” Intel said it “does not support or tolerate our products being used to violate human rights”...

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