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Russia continues to circumvent Western IT and energy sanctions.
While the United States and the European Union are teaming up to provide Ukraine with weapons to continue fighting the Russian army, their own technology is being used by Moscow to fight back. Circumvention schemes and other flaws in the sanctions have been found in areas such as defence, oil and gas, metallurgy, maritime trade, finance, cryptocurrency, construction and others.
Russian industry depends on Western-made equipment, machinery and technology. The Russian military uses more than 450 different types of foreign-made components in 27 state-of-the-art military systems, including cruise missiles, communications systems, and electronic warfare systems. U.S. companies that create microelectronics for the U.S. military manufacture some of these components.
Microelectronics are delivered to Russia using grey schemes via third countries. Sales of microchips and other electronic components via Armenia, Kazakhstan and other countries are growing.
Given that Russia does not have enough capacity (shadow tankers) to transport oil and oil products outside the price cap regime, it can resort to fraudulent actions. Russian sellers provide transport and insurance companies with certificates that do not reflect the actual price of oil.
The profits that the Russian Federation receives from oil and gas exports make it possible to soften the blow of the sanctions. The petrodollars flowing into Russia, including from EU countries, are the basis for the solvency of the local market. Demand for goods from the EU and the US remains high even now.
Last December, the European Union, the G7 countries and Australia imposed price caps on Russian oil at $60 a barrel to reduce Russia's ability to finance the war against Ukraine. Putin has become increasingly desperate in his attempts to mitigate the impact of the price caps - something that has severely limited Russian revenues since their introduction.
Following the visit of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the USA, a number of important agreements with Ukraine were reached. In particular, on the issue of joint arms production with the USA and the creation of hubs for repair and maintenance of US military equipment in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The volume of military aid is also increasing: the Biden administration has allocated the 47th tranche for Ukraine worth $325 million, which will include various types of weapons, as well as shells and missiles for air defence. According to US President Biden, US Abrams tanks will be in Ukraine in the near future. They will strengthen the offensive potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which are confidently defeating Russia. The USA also announced the transfer of a number of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine and confirmed its status as a key ally of Ukraine.
In addition, following Zelenskyy's visit to Canada, Ukraine will be provided with additional military aid from Canada: 50 armoured vehicles worth $483m - a statement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Also, Canada joins the "aviation coalition" and will train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s.
The anti-Putin coalition is increasing its support for Ukraine and demonstrating a high level of confidence in Ukraine, which is consistently defeating the Russian armed forces. The successful actions of the Ukrainian army do not go unnoticed: on 23 September, the Ukrainian Armed Forces broke through another Russian defence line on the frontline and strengthened a bridgehead for further advances in the Zaporizhzhya direction.
Ukraine is expecting a difficult winter - Russia will predictably bombard energy infrastructure, and strengthening its air defence systems is of utmost importance. The Ukrainian Armed Forces will also receive new batches of artillery shells, anti-tank weapons, tactical vehicles and millions of rounds of ammunition for small arms - all of the above are included in the aid package. Zelenskyy said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces counter-offensive will continue during the winter period: timely supply of weapons will bring Ukraine's victory over the Russian Federation closer.
With stable support, Ukraine will inevitably liberate its territories, and its victory over the Russian Federation will be a common victory for the entire civilised world.