US Says Russia Uses Home Appliances to Make Weapons

Minister Raimondo said Russia uses semiconductor components of kitchen appliances to make weapons due to lack of supply, but has not provided any evidence.

During a May 11 hearing before the US Congress, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, citing information from the Prime Minister of Ukraine, said that “some abandoned Russian military equipment contains semiconductor components from household appliances such as kitchens, such as dishwashers and refrigerators.” She said Russia’s defense industry is “struggling to produce more chips” and is restricted from importing technology.

“Our approach is to prevent Russia from accessing technology that could affect its ability to continue its military campaign. That’s exactly what I’m doing,” Raimondo said. The US Secretary of Commerce said two Russian tank factories had recently shut down operations.

Armor of pro-Russian separatists passes the village of Bezimenne in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, May 7.  Photo: Reuters.

Armor of pro-Russian separatists passes the village of Bezimenne in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, May 7. Picture: Reuters.

A US defense official said earlier this week that the embargo is beginning to affect Russia’s ability to stockpile weapons, “particularly certain types of electronic components used in precision-guided munitions.”

Russia did not comment on the above information.

Russia launched a special military operation to “demilitarize and defascize Ukraine” on February 24. After more than two months of hostilities, US officials believe Russian forces are increasingly using more conventional bombs due to a limited number of precision weapons. They believe this is one of the reasons why Russia used hypersonic weapons to attack Ukraine.

A US defense official recently said Russia fired about 10-12 hypersonic weapons at targets in Ukraine. However, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said during a May 11 hearing that the way Russian forces are using hypersonic weapons “does not give them a major advantage” in Ukraine.

Nguyen Tien (Corresponding CBS)