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Semiconductors are a vital component in military products, and Russia's imports of them have surged since it invaded Ukraine. (Source photo by AP)   © AP

Special report: How U.S.-made chips are flowing into Russia

Shipments from Hong Kong and China jumped tenfold after invasion of Ukraine

Nikkei staff writers | Russia & Caucasus

TOKYO/HONG KONG/TAIPEI -- More than a year since the start of the Ukraine war, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of U.S.-made semiconductors are flowing into Russia despite Washington's sanctions on the country, a Nikkei investigation has found.

Washington banned the export of American semiconductors to Russia, except for humanitarian purposes and other special exceptions, on Feb. 24, 2022, immediately after Russia invaded its neighbor. The move was aimed at weakening Moscow's ability to wage war by cutting off its access to semiconductors -- chips are vital components in missiles, tanks, drones and military aircraft for functions including guidance systems, radar and nighttime image sensing, and U.S. manufacturers command a large share of the market for high-performance products.

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