Exclusive: The global supply trail that leads to Russia’s killer drones – Reuters

December 18, 2022 by No Comments

Dec 15 (Reuters) – The hundreds of Russian drones hovering ominously over the Ukrainian battlefield owe their existence to an elastic, sanctions-evading supply chain that often runs through a shabby office above a Hong Kong marketplace, and sometimes through a yellow stucco home in suburban Florida.

The “Sea Eagle” Orlan 10 UAV is a deceptive, relatively low-tech and cheap killer that has directed many of the up to 20,000 artillery shells that Russia has fired daily on Ukrainian positions in 2022, killing up to 100 soldiers per day, according to Ukrainian commanders.

An investigation by Reuters and iStories, a Russian media outlet, in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute, a defence think tank in London, has uncovered a logistical trail that spans the globe and ends at the Orlan’s production line, the Special Technology Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Based on Russian customs filings and bank records, the investigation marks the first time a supply route for American technology has been traced all the way to a Russian manufacturer, whose weapon system is used in Ukraine.

The Special Technology Centre, which once made a variety of surveillance gadgets for the Russian government and now focuses on drones for the military, was first targeted by U.S. sanctions after President Barack Obama said it had worked with Russian military intelligence to try to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The sanctions, which took effect in 2017, barred any American citizen or resident or U.S. company from supplying anything that might end up with the Special Technology Centre. In March of this year, the U.S. government tightened those restrictions by blocking all sales of any American …….

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiZWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnJldXRlcnMuY29tL3dvcmxkL2V1cm9wZS9nbG9iYWwtc3VwcGx5LXRyYWlsLXRoYXQtbGVhZHMtcnVzc2lhcy1raWxsZXItZHJvbmVzLTIwMjItMTItMTUv0gEA?oc=5

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