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Putin’s Sanctions Hell: Russia Is Using Microchips from Refrigerators to Put in Tanks

Ukraine Tanks
Russian tank using defensive measures to stop missile attack. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

Russia is getting desperate to make sure its tanks can still roll – The global microchip shortage is far from resolved, and the problem has gotten so great that German automaker BMW has reportedly been shipping some vehicles without support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as a result. In the United States, lawmakers have continued to debate how to address the computer chip scarcity, resulting in the drafting of two different but similar bills.

The Russian military is taking even more drastic measures to confront the chip deficiency – by pulling chips from home electronics for use in military vehicles, notably its main battle tanks (MBT). The Russian military relies heavily on technology made by the United States and its allies, who have banned such exports to Russia. As a result, Russia has had to use computer chips intended for home appliances including refrigerators, to repair its military hardware.

“We have reports from Ukrainians that when they find Russian military equipment on the ground, it’s filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday.

Raimondo, who recently met with Ukrainian officials, was told that parts from refrigerators as well as from commercial and industrial machines were found after Ukrainian soldiers conducted searches of captured or abandoned Russian tanks, The Washington Post first reported.

The commerce secretary also told the committee that exports of American technology to Russia have fallen by just under 70 percent as a result of sanctions, the first of which was imposed in late February after Moscow launched its unprovoked and unwarranted attack on Ukraine. U.S. tech companies are now forbidden from exporting their products to Russia.

“Our approach was to deny Russia technology — technology that would cripple their ability to continue a military operation. And that is exactly what we are doing,” Raimondo told the committee.

Lack of Russian Supplies?

It isn’t just refrigerator microchips repurposed for use in tanks. The Russian military has had to scavenge spare mechanical parts for its tanks. As with the chips and microprocessors, Russia has long relied on foreign-made components.

The shortage of parts began just weeks after Russia launched its invasion, and as result, its only tank manufacturer, Uralvagonzavod, was forced to stop production.

In addition, the Ukrainian forces have shared abundant evidence that Russia is struggling to equip its forces adequately, and in recent weeks images have been shared online of a Russian drone that had been covered in duct tape and fitted with a generic plastic bottle top for a fuel cap. There have also been reports this week that downed Russian fighter jets were found with commercial GPS units taped to the dashboards, because the aircraft’s inbuilt navigation systems are so inadequate.

In March, Ukrainian troops also reportedly found what appeared to be Russian army bandages dating to 1978 discarded on a battlefield. Clearly, Moscow expected a quick victory and wasn’t prepared for a long and protracted war.

Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.

Written By

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Suciu is also a contributing writer for Forbes Magazine.



  1. siempre

    May 12, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    One of the little discussed realities of modern technological militaries is scarcity. Everything is too complex and expensive to be possessed in adequate amounts for extended warfare. Russia planned a 96 hour war. The NATO allies are also depleting reserves but have more to deplete. Only now are citizens hearing Stinger missles have essentially not been bought for 20 years by the US. But, the US now plans to upgrade from Stingers.
    Further irony of Russian aggression is that NATO armies that were stuck using antiquated Soviet equipment are sending it to Ukraine to fight Russian antiquated equipment so that all of Eastern NATO is now upgrading to new German and US gear.
    So, while no one will ever have abundant weapons again,this Russian war will lead to all NATO upgrading while Russian stocks disappear and cannot be replaced.

    • Alex's family died today

      May 13, 2022 at 2:12 am

      Don’t forget that in the US ramp up to WWII, Ford built B-24 Liberators at a rate of one bomber an hour. 1.5 million parts. There is no match on the face of this planet who can match US manufacturing, and certainly not some worthless shit show of a country who’s been sanctioned the world over.

  2. Alex

    May 15, 2022 at 11:27 am

    A demobilized French soldier, author of the book “Get up and go thanks to science” Adrien Boke went to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission and spent three weeks there.

    Upon his return, he decided to convey to the French information about the events he had witnessed in Ukraine.

    “I take full responsibility for what I say. While in Ukraine, I witnessed war crimes. All of them were committed by the Ukrainian army. But in France we don’t talk about it!

    When I returned to France from Ukraine, I was shocked: TV channels invite as experts people who have not been to Ukraine and do not know anything about what is happening there now. However, they dare to speculate about these events. Between what I hear from the TV screen and what I saw with my own eyes is an abyss.

    Azov fighters are everywhere. With neo-Nazi stripes. It shocks me that Europe is supplying weapons to neo-Nazis. Not only do they not hide their views. They advertise them. I worked with these people and treated them.

    Being there, there was nothing I could do. Just watch and make videos. I have this footage and will use it as evidence of Ukraine’s crimes.

    I witnessed how the Ukrainian military shot through the knees of captured Russian soldiers and shot in the head higher-ranking officers.

    I have personally seen American videographers making fake footage from the scene of the events staging.

    All destroyed civilian buildings, given out by Ukraine for bombardment of civilians, are nothing more than the result of inaccurate shooting by Ukrainians at military facilities.

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine hide ammunition in residential buildings at night, without even informing the residents. This is called using people as a shield, ”Boke quotes one of the French media.

    The Washington Post recently drew attention to the fact that Ukrainian troops are placing military equipment in residential areas of cities in an attempt to counter the Russian Armed Forces, which threatens the lives of civilians.

    Boke also spoke about the untruthfulness of Western media reports about the events in Bucha.

    “Bucha is a staging. The bodies of the dead were moved from other places and deliberately placed in such a way as to produce shocking footage, ”the French author noted.

    The documents confirming this were submitted to the Federal Security Service – how, who – there are relevant intercepts – on what transport he came to this settlement and created the conditions for organizing this provocation.

    Soon all the collected evidence about the crimes of the Nazis in Ukraine will be seen by the whole world. And the most important thing is the help of Western countries to the Nazis of Ukraine and assistance in their crimes.

    • Joe delotes

      May 24, 2022 at 9:03 am

      Putin sympethieser, Russian troll.

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