Things are not looking good for Russia in Eastern Ukraine, nor does it look good on the Russian mainland, specifically in their military-industrial complex. A letter uncovered by The Jerusalem Post reveals that the Russian Military Industry is in massive shambles, with their employees having low wages and losing civilian contractors as they have no money to pay them.

The Post uncovered a letter sent from the Trade Union of the Civilian Personnel of the Armed Forces of Russia Siberian region to the Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin. According to their report, employees had been complaining about their low wages and the massive layoffs the industry had been experiencing. While they did not explicitly name the invasion of Ukraine and sanctions as the culprit of these problems, we can hypothesize that it was indeed due to the economic impacts of the various fiscal and economic sanctions that led to these problems.

This is the second time a Russian trade union has sent a letter to the Russian government regarding low wages and rising living standards, with the first one being the Arkhangelsk trade union. Russian trade unions are a very important block of political support for President Putin.

This is not the first that the Russians have experienced a massive layoff in their arms manufacturing sector. SOFREP reported earlier in April that Russian shipbuilder Vostochnaya Verf in Vladivostok had stopped building ships or repairing vessels as they did not have the necessary funds and parts to keep up production and repair services. The lack of foreign components due to the economic sanctions has severely impacted their operations, which has led them to stop production altogether. Some of these foreign components allegedly were navigation systems, naval warfare systems, communication systems, and steering columns, to name a few.

Worse, the company had to cancel government orders of two tankers and two missile boats worth some 35 billion rubles and had to “suspend” all work since April 2022, with a large majority of their staff being “dismissed.” This is bad news for the Russians as Vostochnaya Verf was the main supplier of ships for the maritime border forces of the Russian Navy, according to their official website.

Russian Black Sea Flagship the Moskva sunk by the Ukrainians (Mark J Grove). Source:
Russian Black Sea Flagship the Moskva sunk by the Ukrainians (Mark J Grove/Twitter)

Another critical piece of evidence that we can connect this new development to is the fact that the main manufacturer of Russian tanks, Uralvagonzavod, had halted production back in March also due to a lack of components and parts. The company had its assets frozen by the British Government last February 24th, with the US government having it sanctioned since 2014 due to the Russian annexation of Crimea. With a large number of Russian tank losses in Ukraine, and with many more to come as the Ukrainians have been armed with Western anti-tank and anti-armor weapon systems such as the Javelin, NLAWs, Panzerfaust-3s, and their very own Stug-buggies, the Russian forces are not able to replace or repair their tanks – which does ultimately leave them in a vulnerable position.

“The Russian military-industrial complex remains dependent on imported high technologies. Without the supply of which, Russia is unable to continue the production of modern weapons,” the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate said.

This seems to be true, as a study published by the University of Zilina revealed that the Russian defense industry had increasingly grown dependent on the import of components during the 1990s, specifically on its electronic components, avionics, aircraft engines, and new generation composites for its military equipment. In fact, 80% to 85% of the Russian defense industry was determined to be dependent on foreign components.