Russian T-72B3M tanks parade through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in central Moscow on May 9, 2022. (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Some experts noticed fewer tanks than usual at the Russian Red Square parade
Sanctions have idled Russia’s two main tank plants
The Ukrainian army has a powerful US missile against tanks
This Monday, the Ukrainian government made a sharp nod to the Russian celebration of «Victory Day», with a parade of «trophy» tanks captured by Volodímir Zelensky’s forces, just over two months after the conflict began. warlike
The news overshadowed the annual event that Russia commemorates every May 9 after the defeat of Nazi Germany and that the Kremlin celebrates with a large military parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
Vladimir Putin did not launch a dreaded declaration of all-out war on the holiday, but he criticized NATO expansion, accused the United States of aggression and once again called Ukraine and its leaders Nazis.
But some experts and observers noted fewer tanks than normal at the Red Square parade.
Does Russia run out of tanks?
Russian tanks are, precisely, some of the heavy weapons most affected by the series of Western economic sanctions against Putin, to which this week was added a promise by the G-7 to reduce its dependence on Russian oil.
One particular type of sanction that hasn’t drawn as much media attention, so-called «export controls,» prohibits companies from shipping crucial products, such as semiconductors, to the Eurasian giant.
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Ukrainian soldiers stand next to a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, May 8, 2022 (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Within these measures there are some directed directly at Putin’s army. “Due to the export controls we have already put in place, Russia’s top two tank makers are no longer in businessTreasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Yahoo Finance.
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The senior US official assured that today Russia «has far fewer tanks than before the beginning of the invasion» on February 24.
“They can’t make more due to the measures we are taking with the sanctions,” he stressed.
The White House says the controls have idled Russia’s two main tank plants, Uralvagonzavod Corporation and Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, due to a lack of foreign components.
Russian forces used tanks and artillery in «assault operations» on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on Monday, where «the last defenders of the city» are hiding, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said, quoted by Reuters.
Russia “cannot make any more” tanks due to this sanction, Biden official warns. Undersecretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo. Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik
US missiles against Russian tanks
Yet images of destroyed Russian tanks shot down by US-made Javelin missiles have become a rallying cry for the Ukrainians and their allies.
The Center for International Strategic Studies (CSIS), a Washington DC-based think tank, said the US supplied Ukraine with thousands of Javelins, the iconic anti-tank missiles, even to the point of risking the US’s own inventory.
According to a CNBC report, the defense against Russia is supported by billions of dollars in military aid from NATO, and one of the most capable weapons systems supplied is precisely the FGM-148 Javelin, which costs around from $176,000 each.
“Make sure they have less resources to fight”
A day before the parade, on Sunday, the White House announced additional export controls on items such as wood products, industrial engines and bulldozers, to «further limit Russia’s access to items and revenues that could support its military capabilities.»
The Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as set forth in US government documents, apply not only to US items.
“Foreign-produced items located outside of the United States are subject to the EAR when they are a ‘direct product’ of industries such as US technology, software, or manufacturing,” the document says.