Your Wednesday Briefing: How Russia Gets Chips for Its Weapons

As Ukraine tries to repel Russia from its territory, the U.S. and its allies have been fighting a parallel battle to keep the chips needed for weapons systems, drones and tanks out of Russian hands.

But denying Russia access to chips has been a challenge, even though the U.S. and its allies have stopped direct sales of chips to the country. While sweeping sanctions have diminished Russia’s ability to manufacture weaponry, the country is still finding a way to access many electronic components.

Sales of chips from the U.S. and Europe to Armenia, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries have surged. But documents from U.S. and European officials show these are being rerouted to Russia.

Other countries have also stepped in to provide Russia with some of what it needs. Russia’s chip imports are rising, particularly from China and Hong Kong.

The result is devastating: As the U.S. and the E.U. furnish Ukrainians with weapons to keep fighting against Russia, their own technology is being used by Russia to fight back.

Context: Russia may be running out of a stockpile of weapons and electronics it accumulated before invading Ukraine, making it more urgent for the Kremlin to obtain new chips.

Other news from the war:

As the hour of an announced cease-fire passed, residents of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, reported loud blasts and gunfire, and a U.N. spokesman said that there was no sign that the fighting had abated.

India’s Supreme Court began hearing arguments yesterday in a case to legalize same-sex marriage. A ruling in favor of gay unions would greatly expand the rights of members of India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community who say they continue to lead marginalized lives in society.

India’s conservative Hindu-nationalist government is opposed to same-sex unions. In a court filing on Monday, it called them an “urban-elitist concept far removed from the social ethos of the country.”

But the court may not share those views. Almost five years ago, the court struck down a ban on consensual gay sex, ushering in a new era for L.G.B.T.Q. rights in India.

That action and other rulings fueled hopes that the court would act as a socially liberal counterweight to the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What’s next: It is unclear how long the court will take to reach a decision, but a ruling in favor of the petitioners would make India an outlier for gay rights in Asia, where most countries still outlaw same-sex marriage.

Housing can be hard to come by in Japan, especially in crowded cities like Tokyo.

But akiya, or abandoned rural homes, abound — the most recent government data reported about 8.5 million of them, roughly 14 percent of the country’s housing stock. Now, officials are trying to make akiya more appealing, and some buyers are snapping up the inexpensive homes.

Pete McKenzie, a New Zealander based in New York, wrote about struggling to be understood in America. Here’s an excerpt from The Times’s Australia Letter:

Accent woes are as old as immigration itself. But I’ve been surprised at how severe these challenges are for New Zealanders, specifically.

American friends find me harder to understand than other international students from Brazil, India, Chile and Finland. One friend spent a month thinking that I was in New York to study the Baltics, not politics. For a week, another acquaintance thought my name was Pip, not Pete.

It’s an isolating feeling, and I even dabbled with an American accent, wondering if I could hide my identity for convenience. But in time I sought out other New Zealanders for coffee catch-ups and movie nights — joking about shared vocal struggles gave me a surprising sense of solidarity.

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