Russia Is Losing Access to Imports
Comprehensive data from March show that the Russian economy is being denied access to critical manufactured goods. The initial numbers for April suggest it's only getting worse for the Putin regime.
The Putin regime will find it increasingly difficult to sustain its war of aggression against Ukraine it if can’t replace the missiles, ships, tanks, aircraft, and other military equipment it continues to lose in battle. That outcome seems increasingly likely thanks to the latest data on the potency of the sanctions and export controls imposed by the global alliance of democracies.
The sanctions should be understood as a weapon deployed on the economic battlefield alongside the Javelines, NLAWs, Stingers, and Neptunes that have proven so helpful to Ukraine’s defense thus far. Those weapons are neutralizing Russia’s existing inventories of tanks, aircraft, and ships, while the sanctions are crippling Russia’s ability to replace those losses by constraining what Russians are able to import…While it would be inappropriate for NATO aircraft to bomb Russian tank factories, shipyards, and missile assembly plants today, it would also be unnecessary. The democracies can replicate the effect of well-targeted bombing runs with the right set of sanctions precisely because the Russian military depends on imported equipment from the very same set of countries it has angered with its brutal attack on Ukraine.
But data compiled from Russia’s major trading partners shows that Russian imports of manufactured goods fell by 50% in March compared to the September 2021-February 2022 average. Moreover, initial data from Taiwan—a critical supplier of advanced electronics for military equipment and civil aviation components—show that the screws only tightened further in April.