A new report, released by International Partnership for Human Rights and the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission, has found that western-made dual-use components have continued to reach Russia long after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that western-made components have been and continue to be used within weapons involved in Russian suspected war crimes. The report explores multiple suspected war crimes that have been committed by Russian forces since the start of the full-scale invasion, with each of them believed to have been carried out using a weapon or weapons containing western-made components.
The revelation that western-made components continue to reach Russia long after the invasion raises moral and ethical concerns for the companies involved as well as questions about their due diligence and risk assessment processes. Trade data revealed that three western technology companies – two of which make dual-use components being sought by Russia to manufacture and repair its military equipment, and one of which makes a variety of a specific component needed by the Russian military – continue to export thousands of components worth millions of dollars to Russia as recently as in November 2022. Trade data shows that components manufactured by Harting, Trimble, and TE Connectivity continue to be imported by Russia, either through official distributors for the companies, or third countries such as Hong Kong and Turkey.
Among the suspected war crimes examined are Russian strikes on residential buildings, civilian infrastructure, and power plants, leaving hundreds of civilians killed and wounded and millions of people without heat and water.
The report concludes that four key Russian weapons and weapon systems used to carry out suspected war crimes are, to varying degrees, reliant upon western-made components. It also concludes that existing regulations and enforcements aiming to cut Russia’s access to western dual-use technology are not sufficient, evidenced by the fact that exports to Russia from companies making components sought by the Kremlin continue.
The authors of the report make several recommendations to policy makers and businesses:
1. Recognise and publicly acknowledge the existence of the problem;
2. Carry out a thorough and holistic review of existing sanction and export control measures;
3. Enhance due diligence, ‘know your customer’, and end-user surveillance.
Read the report here.