Vladimir Putin’s war machine could be crippled without firing a shot – if the international community slapped a blanket ban on exports of foreign-made components commonly found in Russian weapons.
A new report published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank warned Russia was routinely circumventing sanctions using tortuous supply routes to get hold of parts, often without the knowledge of manufacturers in the West.
A team of RUSI researchers found more than 450 components from countries including the United States, Europe and Asia in Russian missiles and other weapons recovered in Ukraine.
Since Putin ordered his invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s military has captured or recovered from the battlefield multiple intact or partially damaged Russian weapons.
When disassembled, 27 of these weapons and military systems, including from cruise missiles and air defence systems, were discovered to rely predominantly on Western technology.
The document is the most detailed published analysis so far in respect of the part played by Western components in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Roughly two-thirds of the components were manufactured by US-based companies, RUSI found, based on the weapons recovered from Ukraine.
Putin fatal Achilles’ heel exposed as ‘critical’ weakness in Russia war machine pinpointed (Image: GETTY)
Vladimir Putin has been rocked by more Ukrainian attacks as the defensive forces target Russian ammunition warehouses.
Video footage has emerged of thick smoke rising from a Russian ammunition warehouse in Novooleksiivka, Kherson Oblast, amid reports of loud explosions.
The hit comes after a string of successful strikes reported by Ukraine.
On Monday, the Ukrainian army said it successfully executed long-range strikes, hitting strategic bridges on the Dnieper River and Russian bases the previous night.
Writing on Facebook, regional deputy Sergei Khlan said: “What a night for the occupiers in the Kherson region.
“Strikes in the area of the Antonovskiy bridge.”
Natalia Gumeniuk, the southern army command spokesperson, confirmed the attack, telling Ukrainian television: “The firing system we have developed in recent days shows results. The impact has been considerable for both the Antonovskiy and Kakhovskiy bridges.”
Russian-backed forces also confirmed the strikes.
At least three people were killed and 19 were injured in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on Monday.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regions governor, said the fatalities were reported in Chasovoy Yar, Novoselivka Pershia, and Mariintka.
He added: “Currently, it is impossible to establish the exact number of victims in Mariupol and Volnovas.
“The Russians will be held accountable for all their crimes on our land!”
Some 300 Russian soldiers have been killed in the last 24 hours of fighting, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In the latest intelligence update, it claims 42,640 enemy troops have been killed in total.
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A brave Ukrainian coder has created a decentralised cyber army to expose oligarchs’ assets and spark a revolution inside the Kremlin.
Ukrainian coder Vladyslav Huntyk has co-founded a new mobile app, Signal My Oligarch, which allows users across the world to flag assets they suspect belong to oligarchs under Western sanctions.
The assets can include bank accounts, real estate, boats, planes and more.
The users simply open the app, take a photo of the asset, geolocate it and then the information is sent anonymously to the relevant authorities.
Mr Huntyk told Express.co.uk: “We decided that the more pressure we can put on [the oligarchs’] shoulders, the more pressure they will put on Putin’s shoulders.
“The most convenient way is to ask people who know [about these assets] because you can’t identify that some real estate belongs to an oligarch just by looking at it.
“But this information can be known by people who, for example are their neighbours, they might know that this is the oligarch’s daughter’s property.
“Or perhaps a bank employee who knows that a specific bank account belongs to an oligarch.
“Or a boat crew, they would know that the boat belongs to them.
“So we are trying to target a specific group of people who would have this kind of information.”
‘We will spark a Kremlin revolution’ Inside Ukraine’s cyber army exposing oligarchs (Image: GETTY)
The UK is spearheading a mission to train members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as part of an international scheme that Finland will also take part in.
It is understood approximately 20 service personnel will arrive in Britain to take part in the programme.
The aim of this is to provide basic soldier training to as many as 10,000 Ukrainian volunteers throughout 2022.
A statement adds: “The training programme is led by the UK, which has asked partner nations for support.
“According to the UK, the aim of the programme is to provide basic soldier training to as many as 10,000 Ukrainian volunteers.”
More than 400 people have been detained in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine between August 5 and Monday “on the basis of collaborating with Russian forces”, Major General Dmytro Marchenko of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported.
The arrests were made between 11pm on August 5 to 5am on August 8.
He added that supporting evidence “was found proving that each detainee passed valuable information” to Russian troops.
A captured Russian officer described how men from his battalion had “run away” and that there was “no one left” to fight.
The Russian army has been beset by persistent reports of low morale among the ranks, after suffering massive casualties.
According to the Ukrainian military, over 40,000 Russian soldiers have ben killed in action since hostilities broke out on February 24.
Countless Russian soldiers are reported to have deserted their units in a desperate bid to flee the slaughter on the front lines.
Describing the hopeless situation faced by his commanders, Major Gruzev recounted how both soldiers and officers refused to fight and fled their positions.
The officer is serving in a military unit from Abkhazia and was taken prisoner near Kherson.
In a video posted by Ukraine’s military, Major Gruzev said: “Nobody wants to be here. Everyone wants to go home.
“All the soldiers from the first and second battalion ran away.
“No one’s left. They refused to fight.”
Major Gruzev was captured near Kherson (Image: Ukraine Military)
Russia has continued to “focus efforts on reinforcing defences in southern Ukraine,” according to the latest intelligence briefing from the British Ministry of Defence.
The briefing said: “Over the weekend, Russia has continued to focus efforts on reinforcing defences in southern Ukraine.
“Despite the shift in effort, Russia has maintained attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk oblast.
“Over the last 30 days, Russia’s assault towards the town of Bakhmut has been its most successful axis in the Donbas; however, Russia has only managed to advance about 10km during this time.
“In other Donbas sectors where Russia was attempting to break through, its forces have not gained more than 3km during this 30 day period; almost certainly significantly less than planned.
“Despite its continued heavy use of artillery in these areas, Russia has not been able to generate capable combat infantry in sufficient numbers to secure more substantial advances.”
Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the conflict in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.