Russian Federation doubles missile output: why it means sanctions are working
I received an email from a reader with a link to an Insider article stating that Russia has doubled its production of cruise and ballistic missiles. At the end of the email was a question - does this mean that Western sanctions have completely failed?
The short answer is No. It means the sanctions are working.
Now for the extended answer. First, an excursion into history.
During World War II, Germany was under a complete blockade. Its industry was subjected to constant strategic bombing. Entire cities were razed from the face of the earth. The Americans bombed during the day, the British bombed at night. Minister of Armaments Fritz Todt warned Hitler as early as 1942 that economically Germany had already lost the war. By 1944, in terms of tonnage of bombs dropped, Germany was getting 50 Hiroshimas every month. In just one bombing on May 12, 1944, 90% of the factories producing synthetic fuels were destroyed. Add to this that hundreds of thousands of Germans were taken from the factories and sent to the front.
Nevertheless, German industrial production in aircraft, steel, tanks and other sectors increased significantly during the war. Take just tanks. Different sources give different figures, but all agree that the growth was impressive. In 1943 tank production figures were 5 times higher than in 1941, and in 1944 about 30,000 combat vehicles rolled off the assembly line.
German military science was at its highest level. The German 88-mm anti-aircraft gun was an unrivaled achievement of artillery technology. It not only drove enemy aircraft to great heights, but also became an excellent anti-tank weapon. The Germans were pioneers in rocket science. They invented a stereoscopic rangefinder for the Navy, which dramatically increased the accuracy of shooting. Optical sights. Air-to-air missiles. Night vision devices. Radio electronics. Electro- and acoustic torpedoes. Jet aviation - the first Messerschmitt Me.262 began flying as early as 1942. Serious progress in the nuclear project, etc.
And all this under complete blockade and under constant bombardment.
Now back to Putin's Russia. Russia has doubled its missile output, and without sanctions it would have doubled it. The Russian military-industrial complex is suffocating under sanctions. By 2016, only 7 pieces of equipment could be assembled without imported parts. The number of foreign components in Russian equipment exceeds 10,000 items. All the most important components - communications, sights, microchips, machine tools - are all imported. And all this has stopped being serviced. Instead of excellent French thermal imagers, the tanks are equipped with Belarusian crap called "Sosna-U". Microchips are taken out of washing machines.
Yes, sanctions could work even more effectively. Of course, we need to cut off the oxygen of Russia's military-industrial complex. Of course, it is necessary to move from a policy of "everything that is not forbidden is allowed" to a policy of "everything that is not allowed is forbidden". Not a single chip to the aggressor. But to say that the sanctions have failed is to repeat Russian propaganda lies.