China is the main supplier of critical components for Russian drones used against Ukraine, The International Working Group on Russian Sanctions reports.
The group is co-chaired by Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, and former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Russia relies heavily on foreign-made components, especially microelectronics in three of the drone models used to attack Ukraine.
According to the study, 67% of drone component shipments come from China, while 17% of them are going through Hong Kong to Russia. Turkey and The United Arab Emirates account for 5% and 2% of the components, respectively.
Components made in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and other countries, including processors, chips, transistors, and other vital components, were also found in the drones.
“Russia is extremely active in using drones for massive attacks on infrastructure, civilian and military targets in Ukraine, so it is very disturbing to see that important components for the production of hostile UAVs come from different countries, including Ukraine’s allies. This issue requires our joint immediate response. We have to take comprehensive measures to prevent the aggressor from using critical components to continue hostilities on Ukrainian soil,” noted Yermak.
The group’s experts called on manufacturers to do more to prevent Russia from accessing their products while bypassing economic sanctions.
It also recommended that governments investigate well-known companies that do not comply with the sanctions policy.
After liberating the southeastern settlement of Robotyne earlier this week, Ukrainian forces are pushing farther south against Russian forces in their counteroffensive.
Robotyne is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of the front-line town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region near Tokmak, a Russian-occupied road and rail hub.
Tokmak’s capture would be a milestone as Ukrainian troops press southward toward the Sea of Azov in a military drive that is intended to split Russian forces following Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
“We don’t stop here,” said a commander who led some of the troops into Robotyne and who uses the call sign “Skala,” eponymous with the battalion which he leads.
“Next, we have [the town of] Berdiansk, and then more. I made it clear to my fighters at once: Our goal is not Robotyne. Our goal is [the Sea of] Azov.”
Robotyne is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Berdiansk, a port on the shores of the Sea of Azov, and 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the strategic city of Melitopol. Both are occupied by Russian forces.
Skala told Reuters that Ukrainian fighters have broken through what they believe is the most difficult line of Russian defenses in the south, allowing them to speed up their counteroffensive.
Russia has not confirmed the Ukrainian advance.
In its statement, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Moscow’s troops had repelled attacks by Kyiv’s forces near Robotyne and Verbove.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted a video on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, of soldiers describing the liberation and raising the flag in the Robotyne settlement.
“Mr. President, commander-in-chief. The village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region has been liberated from the occupiers by the forces of the 27th Mechanized Brigade and adjacent units,” a Ukrainian soldier said in the video.
“Robotyne has been liberated,” said Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, as quoted by the military.
Maliar told Ukrainian television earlier that Kyiv’s troops, who began their counteroffensive in early June, were now moving southeast of Robotyne and south of nearby Mala Tokmachka.
Fighting rages in the east
In Eastern Ukraine, fighting is grinding on as Ukrainian troops encounter vast Russian minefields and trenches.
Maliar described the battlefield situation in the east as “very hot” in the past week. She said Russian troops were gathering new forces there and regrouping, and Moscow was aiming to deploy its best troops there.
She added that in the past week, Ukrainian forces had retaken one square kilometer around Bakhmut, and Russian troops had not made any advances.
Meanwhile, four people were killed by Russian missile strikes, Ukrainian officials said.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said three people were killed from a strike on a vegetable oil factory in the central Poltava region while they were working the night shift. Five others were wounded, while another person was unaccounted for.
Yermak posted photos showing the plant in flames. Klymenko said the fire had later been extinguished.
A 63-year-old woman was killed Monday morning by a Russian shelling of the village of Sadove, said Oleksandr Prokudin, governor of the Kherson region.
The Ukrainian military said Russia had launched four missiles from the Black Sea overnight, two of which were shot down.
The military also said the Kryvyi Rih region in central Ukraine had been struck in a missile attack. Local authorities said several private houses had been damaged. No casualties were reported.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday it downed a Ukrainian drone in the Lyubertsy region, southeast of Moscow.
As with other recent drone attacks near the Russian capital, flight operations at airports in the region were temporarily disrupted.
Russia also reported destroying two Ukrainian drones over the Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine.
Source : VOANews