From June to December 2022, Chinese companies sent assault rifles, parts for drones and body armor to Russia.
This was reported by Politico with reference to customs data from the ImportGenius aggregator.
Da-Jiang Innovations Science & Technology Co., also known as DJI, sent drone parts, including batteries and cameras, to a small Russian distributor in November and December 2022. DJI is a Chinese company obeyed by the US. The cargo was going to Russia via the United Arab Emirates.
China North Industries Group Corporation Limited, one of the countryʼs largest state defense contractors, sent rifles in June 2022 to the Russian company Techkrim, which does business with the Russian government and military.
These were CQ-A rifles modeled after the M16, but marked in the documents as "civilian hunting rifles". According to Politico, they are used by paramilitary police in China and armed forces in many countries, from the Philippines to South Sudan and Paraguay.
Currently, there is no confirmation of the use of Chinese rifles on the battlefield in Ukraine, but Chinese drones have already noticed.
At the end of 2022, Russian companies also received 12 batches of spare parts for drones from Chinese companies and more than 12 tons of Chinese body armor through Turkey.
According to Import Genius, in December of last year, Russia managed to import almost 80 tons of bulletproof vests worth almost $10 million. These bulletproof vests were manufactured by the Turkish company Ariteks, most of them were imported directly from Turkey and the rest via the United Arab Emirates. Russia also received body armor from the Chinese company Xinxing Guangzhou Import & Export Co.
In addition, since early 2022, the Russian state-owned company Rosoboronexport has imported microchips, thermal imaging devices and spare parts such as gas turbine engines from various countries, including China, Serbia and Myanmar.
- On February 23, 2023, NATO saw signs that China was "considering and possibly planning" to send weapons to Russia to help it in its war in Ukraine.
- The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency William Burns said on February 26 that he is "sure" that China is considering sending weapons to Russia.
- Meanwhile, the defense partnership between Moscow and Tehran is growing. On November 1, CNN, citing Western officials who closely monitor Iranʼs weapons program, wrote that Iran plans to transfer approximately a thousand ballistic missiles and drones to Russia for the war against Ukraine.
- The head of the Mossad David Barnea also noted that Iran seeks to expand supplies of modern weapons to Russia.
- According to Sky News, Iran has secretly supplied Russia with large quantities of bullets, mortar shells and other munitions and plans to send more. Russia, on the other hand, sends captured Western weapons from Ukraine to Iran. In Tehran, they are trying to redesign it.