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May 12, 2022
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“Hellish Sanctions”: Russia Strikes Back

Photo: Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

Russia harnesses for a long time, but quickly gallops. It’s time for the West to learn this proverb when making another decision to send weapons to Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry has warned several times that it will destroy convoys with NATO weapons and increase economic pressure.

And now, finally, it began to translate the “proposal for good” into reality.

Russia has deprived the Americans of microwave weapons

Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov On March 18, he officially announced that the convoys carrying heavy weapons supplied to Ukraine were a legitimate target for Russian strikes. The NATO leadership did not heed unambiguous threats.

And after Lavrov’s statement, the Russian army launched more than twenty missile and bomb attacks on NATO echelons in Ukraine, Free Press calculated based on official data from the Ministry of Defense.

In addition to military strikes, Russia also inflicts economic ones. On April 3, Roskosmos refused to cooperate with countries unfriendly to Russia that supply weapons to Ukraine. This means, in particular, that the American Atlas V rocket has lost its engines – it is equipped with the Russian RD-180, Reuters points out.

Atlas V rockets are used by the American company United Launch Alliance, which was jointly established by Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The rocket launches communications satellites, not only for private companies (such as Amazon), but also for NASA and the US Department of Defense, writes Reuters.

A total of 24 Atlas V launches with military satellites were made. In 2020, a rocket launched an experimental Boeing X-37 aircraft into orbit, which was equipped with equipment for converting solar energy into microwaves.

The US Department of Defense stated that such experiments were needed purely for civilian purposes. In fact, we are actually talking about testing microwave weapons, which can disable communications and surveillance systems at a distance. Obviously, the Americans were going to use such technology against Russia. And Russia, by stopping the supply of rocket engines, deprived the Americans of the opportunity to create new weapons ahead of time.

Poland and Bulgaria have already paid for Russophobia

Russia is inflicting a preventive strike on the West not only in the rocket and space industry.

On April 26, an embargo was imposed on Russian pipeline gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. Their state gas companies Bulgargaz and PGNiG have refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles, as demanded by Moscow.

Bulgaria and Poland are almost completely dependent on Russian gas supplies, they have contracts with Gazprom that expire at the end of 2022. Both countries are not reducing gas consumption: in Poland, for example, underground gas storage facilities are 75% full, but within a few months, of course, they will be completely empty. In addition, Poland announced that it will urgently complete the construction of the 900-kilometer Baltic pipeline to Norway, which will someday be able to supply about half of the country’s gas needs.

Bulgargaz, on the other hand, presumptuously announced that it intends to receive alternative gas supplies from 12 traders currently operating on the market both in Bulgaria and in neighboring countries, SeeNews reports.

Other European countries, fearing a repeat of the unenviable fate of Poland and Bulgaria, prefer to pay Russia for gas in rubles. Even the European Commission admitted that the two-stage payment procedure (with conversion between rubles through accounts in Gazprombank) does not contradict the sanctions regime.

Germany faces a dilemma: if there are howitzers, there will be no industry

In reserve, Russia still has a few more mechanisms to put pressure on the Western economy – these are, for example, restrictions on the supply of titanium, neon, and palladium.

Russia accounts for a quarter of the world’s supplies of titanium, the manufacturer of which is the state corporation VSMPO-Avisma. Titanium alloys have a high strength to weight ratio. Therefore, they are commonly used in key structures such as landing gear and aircraft frames.

High-temperature titanium alloys are used to make blades, discs and other engine parts, writes Simple Flying. There is simply no alternative to Russian titanium: it is no coincidence that it is supplied to 300 enterprises in 50 countries around the world, Simple Flying writes.

Russian titanium is purchased by all the largest aircraft building corporations on the planet, such as Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Embraer, Pratt & Whitney, Safran and many others. Now, Russia can also deal a crushing blow to unfriendly countries by banning the export of rare earth metals – palladium, nickel, copper, chromium, cadmium. For example, nickel is used in the production of stainless steel and lithium-ion batteries. Palladium, on the other hand, is vital to automakers as it is a critical ingredient in the production of catalytic converters.

One of the largest buyers of Russian metals is Germany, write the German media. The Bundestag must keep this critical dependency in mind when deciding whether to send howitzers to the Ukrainian military.

Russian exporters, of course, will suffer from the embargo, but they will quickly find new markets in Asia. But for the German industry to find a supplier will be almost impossible.

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