The approximately 400 ‘diplomats’ that had been declared persona non grata was seen as a dramatic reduction of the Kremlin’s espionage capability. This number for the first time put the estimated total at 800 identified spies that had been stationed in Russia’s European embassies and consulates.
At the time it was also said that the number of ‘illegals’, working without diplomatic cover (and without immunity to arrest) was relatively smaller.
Now the unexpected drawn-out battle with Ukraine and the latter’s staunch determination to fully rid the country of the foreign invader has drained Russia of the supply of crucial hi-tech components, vital to produce much of its military hardware.
Sanctions have exposed Russia’s dependence on foreign intellectual property, its lack of production capacity and foreign aversion to investing. For instance, it’s reported that kamikaze drones have been supplied by Iran, which is also willing to supply missile...
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