Updates (2023-02-03): Russian Microchips, Chinese Spy Balon Over US, Abramovich Money for UA

Russian Kommersant newspaper published an article Processors are out of stock. Simply put, after the western sanctions were put in place, Russian microchip design companies lost their access to Western fabs, namely the Taiwanese TCMS. As a result, they even lost the microchips that were already contracted and produced, but not yet delivered.

In this climate of dire microchip shortages, almost all their existing stocks of microchips were sold off. In the short term, they made a nice profit. But in the longer term, they now have to order the production of their designs from two Russian fabs, which only produce much older, 180+ nanometer architecture (for reference, the leading Western architecture today is at 5 nm or lower, though this is no longer a real physical value, but more of a marketing tool). While this technology should still be adequate for most Russian military and space needs, as well as auxiliary lower-tech components for automotive etc. industries, it is far too old for any consumer-grade electronics like personal computers.

Of course, the microchip production is only a small part of the much bigger problem — the lack of any meaningful electronic components production in Russia. While the microchips are much “sexier” than the very basic resistors or capacitors, without the whole spectrum of components the real domestic production is impossible. While China may provide most of basics, and some of simpler components can be sneaked from the West, the whole project of “domestification” (or “import replacement” in proper Russian) of the Russian high-tech industry has obviously failed. It was widely talked about since the start of Western sanctions in 2014, and it is still talked about in Russian media. Great sums of Russian money were sucked into this black hole, enriching corrupt officials, with almost zero result to show of. It isn’t the only state-level scam pulled on Russians, but it is one of the bigger ones.

So, while some people talk about Russia adjusting to new realities, they need to understand, that it only possible in a state run by a government mostly concerned with national interests. When fact, Russian ruling elites are mostly concerned with their own wellbeing. And the Russian national project of building a domestic microprocessor industry is a proof and demonstration of this fact.


The US officials had no other option but to confirm the existence of a Chinese high-altitude spy balloon, crossing the nation, after an amateur astronomer (?) had photographed it. At least that is my impression from reading the somewhat bloated but also smudged Reuters article. What is even more interesting is the fact that US government admitted it has not means to shoot it down, by giving absolutely idiotic explanations why it didn’t actually do it. The explanation goes something like this: “the Pentagon decided the risk of balloon debris hitting someone is too high, so we are fine of it taking pictures of our strategic ballistic missiles silos sites”. The balloon is flying over the state of Montana, which has the population density of 2.87 persons per sq. km. It is the third state with the loves population density in USA, following Alaska and Wyoming. And most of those people are actually concentrated in cities and towns, which could be avoided by choosing the exact time of an intercept.

So, the Chinese are flying their spy balloons over the US, knowing it can do nothing about it. I’m guessing it’s connected to the recent US pressure on China over UA and Taiwan issues. Unlike their Russian “more than allies” partners, China has apparently no problem responding to US in a demonstrative way. Well, good for them. India, which is close to US on the Taiwan issue, and neutral on UA issue, suddenly got its top entrepreneur pushed from the number 4 rank in the top richest people in the world to number 10, loosing (as per Western main stream media) $90B, after some US based “short-seller” published some report saying there are some problems with his companies. There can be no neutrality than dealing with Uncle Sam, which goes by the principle: “if you aren’t with me, you against me”. Germany is another great example, having its strategically imported Nord Streams blasted off by its close ally, the Uncle Sam.


The Russian “oligarch”, or more precisely a Russian “nouveau riche” who had made its fortune on the Soviet industry and Russian natural resources, had $2.8B of his money donated by the West to UA “humanitarian aid” or something. All his attempts to show his support for the NATO war against Russia in UA, and that is how he is being rewarded. And he isn’t even saying he’s against this “donation”, only that he isn’t in control of the money made by selling his UK assets. Poor thing more afraid of the West than he afraid of Russia, while living in Russia (at least as far as I know).

To be clear, Abramovich had his own good reasons to try and move to the West. Previously he was “convinced” by Putin to make large donations for development of Russian social programs like sport and education. It was an approach younger Putin (before he transformed to Rasputin) took towards all Russian “oligarchs”. Whey there supposed to repay their debt to Russia by making large donations which would benefit the Russian people. This will cleanse them in Putin eyes and free them from any criminal prosecution for their past financial crimes. Yet, it seems Abramovich didn’t take it well, instead moving the money he made on previously common/state Soviet property and natural resources to the West, buying football clubs and yachts. It turned out the West is much less accommodating than Rasputin is, even to the ones that bring them the money they made immorally (and almost always illegally) in Russia.


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