Skip to content

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to Hold Hearing on Use of U.S. Microchips in Russian Weapons Systems

Days after the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, PSI will hear from experts and review new data obtained as part of ongoing inquiry into Russia’s use of U.S. technology to fuel its war

[WASHINGTON, DC] – On Tuesday, February 27 at 10:00 AM the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) will hold a hearing titled “The U.S. Technology Fueling Russia’s War in Ukraine: How and Why.” The hearing marks the Subcommittee’s first public discussion of its ongoing inquiry into how American-manufactured semiconductors continue to be found in Russian weapons systems, despite export controls implemented since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago.  

Ahead of next week’s hearing, PSI Chair, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), circulated a staff memorandum among his Subcommittee colleagues providing a summary of the inquiry and its findings thus far. A copy of the memo is available here.

The Subcommittee’s hearing will address continued evidence that export controls intended to block Russia from using American technology in its war are being evaded by Russia and its proxies. American-manufactured semiconductors have been found in a range of equipment used by the Russian military. This includes drones, radios, missiles, and armored vehicles. It also includes some of Russia’s most modern military systems, including cruise missiles, communications systems, and electronic warfare complexes.

PSI has sought documents and information from four of the largest producers of semiconductors in the United States: Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Analog Devices Inc., Intel Corporation, and Texas Instruments Incorporated. Preliminary information obtained by PSI shows that since Russia invaded Ukraine, these four companies have significantly increased their exports to countries that have been identified as potentially being used by Russia to evade U.S. export controls, including Armenia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. 

The stark increases in exports by these U.S. manufacturers include exports to Kazakhstan going up almost 1,000 times from 2021 to 2022. For the same period, exports to Georgia increased over 34 times, exports to Armenia were over 28 times greater, exports to Turkey more than doubled, and exports to Finland were roughly 1.5 times greater in 2022 than 2021. This data raises significant questions about the export control and compliance programs at these American semiconductor manufacturers.

Earlier this week, Blumenthal attended the Munich Security Conference where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and discussed his concerns regarding the use of American-manufactured technology in Russian weapons systems. 

Next week’s hearing will include testimony from the following witnesses. Additional witnesses may be added at a later date.

  • James Byrne: Director of the Open-Source Intelligence and Analysis Research Group at the Royal United Services Institute;
  • Damien Spleeters: Deputy Director of Operations at Conflict Armament Research; and
  • Elina Ribakova: Director of the International Affairs Program and Vice President for foreign policy at the Kyiv School of Economics.