Foreign companies help guide Russian missiles fired at Ukraine

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry's Intelligence Directorate published a list of 13 companies that produce microchips used to guide Russian missiles.

 A deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium range nuclear capable ballistic missile is displayed at La Cabana fortress in Havana October 15, 2012. (photo credit: REUTERS/DESMOND BOYLAN)
A deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium range nuclear capable ballistic missile is displayed at La Cabana fortress in Havana October 15, 2012.
(photo credit: REUTERS/DESMOND BOYLAN)

American, British, Swiss, Canadian and Belgian companies are helping enable Russian missiles to kill Ukrainian civilians, according to Ukraine.

"Russian missiles do not reach their targets without clear coordinates," states the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense. "[These coordinates] are determined by navigation systems."

GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is the Russian equivalent of GPS. Allegedly, Russia is using this system to guide its missiles into civilian infrastructure.

The Directorate of Intelligence claims that the missiles using GLONASS "[depend] on microchips produced by foreign companies" in order to operate.

Smoke rises over the city after Russian missile strikes, amid their attack on Ukraine in Lviv November 15, 2022 (credit: Pavlo Palamarchuk/Reuters)Smoke rises over the city after Russian missile strikes, amid their attack on Ukraine in Lviv November 15, 2022 (credit: Pavlo Palamarchuk/Reuters)

On their official website, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's Intelligence Directorate published a list of 13 companies that produce these microchips.

The list includes American companies Linx Technologies, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Telit, Maxim Integrated, TRIMBLE and Cavli Wireless. It also includes Swiss companies u-blox AG and STMicroelectronics as well as Canadian companies Sierra Wireless and NovAtel. Finally, it includes the Belgian company, Septentrio, and the British company, Antenova.

As of yet, these companies have not commented publicly on the Ukrainian assertions.

Missiles are one of the primary weapons that Russia has used against Ukrainian forces since the conflict broke out in February. As Russian forces retreat from positions and cities they previously held, it remains one of their most viable options available to continue to hammer the Ukrainians.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russia has fired hundreds of missiles this month alone, including some that "hit three high-rise buildings, killing 10 people."

Additionally, the Ukrainian army said that a barrage of missiles was fired at the liberated city of Kherson last Thursday killing four people and wounding at least ten others.

The Russians have also used missiles to target energy infrastructure, causing massive blackouts across the country. Vital services such as hospitals have had to rely on generators in order to continue treating injured soldiers and civilians.

Additionally, as the winter rolls in and the temperatures in Ukraine plummet, Russian missiles that target the Ukrainian power grid may prove just as challenging as those that are directly hitting civilians.

In a televised statement earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy painted the attacks that Russia continues to conduct against Ukraine as a last-ditch effort of an ultimately impotent invasion. 

"This is the revenge of those who lost. They do not know how to fight. The only thing they can still do is terrorize. Either energy terror, or artillery terror or missile terror. That's all that Russia has stooped down to under its current leaders."

The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claims that the only way to stop Russia, at least for the moment, from getting their hands on GLONASS-compatible microchips is for foreign companies to stop producing them altogether.

They assert that "export control and control by manufacturers will not work, because Russia is constantly inventing new ways to circumvent sanctions and purchase technologies."

The Ukrainian defense directorate calls on the companies allegedly producing the chip to "realize the direct impact of their products on Russia's defense capabilities, stop producing chips with GLONASS support, and remove the function of supporting this navigation system from all their devices."