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Western Parts Power Russian Missile That Hit Kyiv Children’s Hospital – FT

Part of the KH101 missile casing under the rubble. Ukrainian Security Service

Western-designed components are used in the type of Russian missile that struck a Kyiv children’s hospital this week, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing experts and Ukrainian officials.

At least 43 people were killed and almost 200 wounded in a Russian missile barrage across Ukraine on Monday, including a direct hit at the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital, where at least four children and two people were killed. The United Nations says Russia likely fired a Kh-101 air-to-surface cruise missile armed with several hundred kilograms of explosives from an aircraft at Okhmatdyt.

Moscow has claimed that Ukrainian air defense caused the damage in Kyiv, though eyewitness video of the strike shows the missile’s wings, nose, fuselage and external engine typical of the Kh-101.

Russia’s ability to keep buying the Western-designed parts on the open market and importing them via China underscores Moscow’s success at evading wartime sanctions.

Kh-101 production rose eightfold from 56 in 2021 to 420 last year, according to a report last month by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British defense think tank.

A 2022 RUSI report said the Kh-101 had 31 foreign components with parts manufactured by companies including U.S.-based Intel Corporation and AMD-owned Xilinx.

But experts also told FT that smuggled components not intended for military use cause Russia’s cruise missiles to fail up to 20% of the time, up to preventing a launch entirely.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to raise the issue of Western components in Russian missiles at the NATO summit in Washington this week, the presidential office’s sanctions expert Vladyslav Vlasiuk told FT.

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