Western nations target Russia's defense industry with sanctions as Russian troops continue to attack Ukraine with missiles and other deadly weapons By doing so, we have partially responded. The latest round took place on Tuesday, when the United States issued new sanctions on several weapons makers and executives at the heart of what Russia's President Vladimir Putin called the "war machine."
However, a survey of companies, executives and investors Reuters behind Russia's defense sector shows that a significant number of players have not yet paid for it. Approved by the United States, the European Union, or the United Kingdom. In addition, sanctions on Russian weapons makers and big names have not been consistently applied by these NATO allies, with some governments imposing penalties and others not, Reuters reviews. Indicated.
Among the weapon moguls not licensed by any of these three authorities is Alan Lushnikov, the largest shareholder of Kalashnikov Concern JSC, the original manufacturer of the famous AK-47 assault rifle. Ruschnikov owns a 75% stake in the company, according to the latest business records reviewed by Reuters.
The company itself was licensed by the United States in 2014 when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. The EU and the UK have imposed their own sanctions on Kalashnikov Consan this year.
According to the company's website and the latest annual report, the company produces 95% of Russian machine guns, sniper rifles, pistols and other handheld firearms, 98 of handheld military machine guns. Occupies%. Its weapons included an updated version of the AK-47, the AK-12 assault rifle, some of which were captured from Russian troops by Ukrainian soldiers. Kalashnikov Consarn also manufactures missiles that can be launched by aircraft or on land.
Former Russian Deputy Minister of Transport Rushnikov once worked for Putin's longtime friend Gennady Timchenko, a commodity tycoon. The United States sanctioned Timchenko in 2014 after Russia invaded Crimea and nominated it as a member of the Kremlin's "inner ring."
Lushnikov, Timchenko, Kalashnikov Concern did not respond to requests for comment.
This is the same pattern as the Moscow-based Almaz-Antey Concern. A defense company specializing in missiles and anti-aircraft systems. The company is licensed by the US, EU and UK, but CEO Yan Novikov has not been punished.
The Almaz-Antey website has the motto "Peaceful Skyis Our Profession". The company manufactures Calibble missiles that the Russian Defense Ministry has admitted to destroying Ukrainian military installations. In a statement last month, the ministry said Russia had launched a long-range Caribbean missile at Ukrainian headquarters near the village of Shyroka Dacha in eastern Ukraine, killing more than 50 generals and officers of the Ukrainian army. Stated.
Reuters was unable to validate its claim on its own.
Neither Almaz-Antey nor CEO Novikov responded to requests for comment.
In response to a list of questions Reuters asked about Western sanctions aimed at Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said, "The consistency and logic of imposing sanctions, and the legality of imposing such restrictions. , Should be placed directly in the country that introduced them. "
Reuters findings show that Ukrainian President Wolodimir Zelensky attacked Russian troops in the eastern parts of Ukraine, Luhansik and Donetsk. The current Western sanctions on Russia were brought about because they said they were "not enough" because they were profiting.
After weeks of fierce fighting, Ukrainian troops were defeated by Russian artillery in places such as the industrial city of Severodonetsk, which was handed over to Russian troops last week.
Putin described his army's attack on Ukraine as a "special military operation" aimed at demilitarizing and "blaming" his democratic neighbors. On Tuesday, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Jill Biden and Joe Biden's wife and daughter Ashley Biden were "continuously expanding U.S. sanctions on Russian politicians and public figures. In response, he announced that he would ban Russia from entering Russia indefinitely. ""
US National Security Assistant Jake Sullivan said Tuesday, "against this kind of cynical move. Russia's capabilities are basically bottomless, "so Russia's actions are not surprising.
The Russian invasion killed thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, but the exact number is unknown. As of Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Agency has killed 4,731 civilians, including more than 300 children, and injured another 5,900 in conflict since the invasion of Russia began on February 24. Said. Most of the casualties are due to the use of "explosive weapons with a wide range of impact, such as artillery from heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers, missiles and airstrikes," and the actual number of deaths and injuries is probably much higher.
The West has imposed sanctions on the Russian economy Swas to punish Moscow. So far, little effort has been made to thwart Russia's attacks. Like the bans on other Russian companies, sanctions on weapons companies are intended to impede the ability to sell to foreign customers. These penalties limit access to imported components and generally cost and time to manufacture weapons. Imposing sanctions on the people behind those companies goes one step further to personalize the pain. It allows Western nations to chase the mansions, yachts and other offshore wealth of those who supply Russian troops, which limits where they can travel abroad.
"It shows that it costs money to be a collaborator in the regime," said Max Bergman, a former State Department official who worked on the transfer of U.S. weapons and the protection of U.S. military technology during the Obama administration. Said. "They feel it very personally. You are creating a class of people with dissatisfaction associated with the Kremlin," said the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based national security think tank. Bergman, director of the European program at the office, said.
Intact ammunition maker
Not licensed by the US, EU, or UK, Russian identified by Reuters For other companies in the defense industry, V. A. Degtyarev Plant ZDEGI. MM is a facility located 165 miles northeast of Moscow that manufactures machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons and anti-aircraft weapons for sale to the Russian army. Its weapons include Kalashnikov PKM and PKTM machine guns, as well as cord rifles and machine guns. Some of these are mounted on armored vehicles.
Degtyarev Plant did not respond to the request for comment.
Also, the Klimovsk special ammunition factory in the south of Moscow is not licensed. According to the archived version of the website, "world-famous cartridges" for pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles are manufactured. Nor is the Novosibirsk cartridge factory, an ammunition maker that claims to be "one of the major engineering companies in the Russian military-industrial complex."
Neither ammunition factory responded to requests for comment.
Last month, Reuters commented on UK, EU, and U.S. sanctions authorities on news agency findings that it failed to punish Russian defense companies and hordes of big names that fueled Putin's war effort. Asked. As part of that process, Reuters provided these Western authorities with a detailed list of more than 20 sanctioned companies and more than three dozen people.
The Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom, which imposes sanctions on the United Kingdom, said it could not comment on future sanctions. London and its allies added that it has imposed "the largest and most severe economic sanctions Russia has ever faced to help cripple Putin's war machines." The European Commission and the US Treasury, which handle sanctions in Brussels and Washington, respectively, declined to comment on the details of Reuters' findings. In her statement, Elizabeth Rosenberg, deputy secretary of terrorist funding and financial crime at the Treasury, said sanctions "made it difficult for Russia to get what it needed to procure and produce weapons." Stated. "
On Tuesday, in connection with the G7 leaders' meeting in the German Alps, the Treasury announced new defense-related sanctions, including eight arms companies and two executives. It is on the list previously provided by Reuters.
One of the newly licensed executives, Vladimir Alchakov, has played a key role in the Russian weapons industry for decades. And is the second executive in the military industry Rostec. According to the website and annual report, hundreds of subsidiaries are giant companies that employ more than 500,000 people, and Artyakov is at least He is also the president of five Russian weapons companies. -52 "Alligators", some of which have been shot down and documented in the Ukrainian.
He is not licensed by the EU or the UK.
Archakov and Russian helicopters did not respond to the request mment for joint.
Rostec has been sanctioned by Washington since 2014. On Tuesday, the United States again targeted the company and imposed sanctions on more than 40 Rostec subsidiaries and affiliates.Among those hits was Avtomatika Concern, a company related to cyber warfare. Reuters submitted to the Treasury last month on a list of Russian defense companies seeking an explanation of why the companies were not sanctioned.
Rostec and Avtomatika Concern did not respond to the request for comment.
Other companies on the Reuters list approved by the Treasury this week include PJSC Tupolev, a manufacturer of fighters such as the Tu-22M3 bomber. Ukrainian troops said on Monday that a Tu-22M3 bomber was responsible for a missile attack in a crowded shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, killing at least 18 people and injuring about 60.
PJSC Tupolev and another Reuters listed company, JSC VNII Signal, are not licensed by the EU or the United Kingdom. JSC VNII Signal is a producer of mechanical and navigation systems that power Russian military tanks and some of the country's most advanced missile systems.
PJSC Tupolev and JSCVNII signals did not respond to the request for comment.
Untouched top brass
Meanwhile, executives at many Russian weapons companies are largely immune to sanctions from Western authorities.
Russian weapons associated with the company that manufactures these missiles, about three months after the Tochka-U ballistic missile hit a station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on April 8. The executive has not paid for it yet. The strike killed more than 50 people, including children, and injured more than 100.
According to the US Army database of global military equipment, the Russian company JSC Research and Production Corporation Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyeniya, known as KBM, is the leading manufacturer of Tochka-U missiles. Neither Washington, Brussels nor London has authorized KBM Chief Executive Officer Sergei Pitikov.
The three Western allies have also escaped Alexander Denisov, CEO of KBM's parent company, NPO High Precision Systems. High Precision Systems oversees the production of various missiles, cannons, grenade launchers and machine guns used by the Russian Army and equipped on military helicopters, aircraft, tanks and warships.
Sanctions on Russian weapons companies and big names have not been consistently applied by Western allies. For example, the United States and the EU license precision systems, but the United Kingdom does not. The United States approves KBM, but the EU and the United Kingdom do not.
High Precision Systems, Pitikov and Denisov did not respond to requests for comment. KBM confirmed that Pitikov was CEO, but did not answer any additional questions asked by Reuters.
Europe and the United States were unable to adjust sanctions even against manufacturers of banned weapons.
Since the start of the Russian invasion in late February, Western governments and human rights groups have blamed the use of cluster munitions. Small bombs carried by missiles and rockets are scattered and explode in areas as large as the city. block. The 2008 International Convention prohibits the use or production of civilians under any circumstances as they have a devastating effect on civilians.
Russia used the rocket launcher system Ulagan to launch cluster munitions in Kharkiv on March 24, killing eight civilians and injuring 15 others.
Uragan is manufactured by JSC Scientific and Production Association Splav, a Russian company whose system is sold abroad in countries including India. The company is licensed by the United States, but not by the United Kingdom or the EU. Its CEO Alexander Smirnov has completely escaped sanctions.
Splav and Smirnov did not respond to requests for comment.
Splav's parent company, NPK Techmash, is almost the same. The US and EU have licensed the company, but the UK has not. Alexander Kochkin, CEO of Techmash, has not been targeted by US or European authorities.
Techmash and Kochkin did not respond to the request for comment.
In a statement on June 10, the European Commission said, "It is legally possible among allies to achieve the maximum cumulative effect of sanctions with all like-minded partners. "As long as" said there is an effort to adjust the sanctions list. According to the Commission's statement, if the lists do not match, people and companies that are not currently on the EU sanctions list can be added later if there is sufficient evidence.
"Nothing is off the table," the statement said.
One of the most famous Russian companies to escape Western sanctions is the world's largest titanium supplier with 25% VSMPO-AvismaCorp VSMO. This is MM. Owned by Rostec. It supplies the Russian defense industry, but also counts major western aerospace companies among its customers.
VSMPO-Avisma is based in Verkhnyaya Salda, central Russia, with subsidiaries in the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and sales and distribution staff in the United States, Europe and Asia. Its website and annual report. According to three sanctions and Russian defense experts who spoke with Reuters, it is arguably the factor that allowed the company to escape punishment.
VSMPO-Russian billionaire Mikhail Sherkov, vice chairman and majority shareholder of Abyssma, has been ranked 59th wealthiest in Russia by Forbes this year and is similarly sanctioned. Is not ...
According to past press releases, VSMPO-Avisma has a long-term contract to supply titanium to United Aircraft Corp, a subsidiary of Rostec that oversees the manufacture of Russian fighters such as the Su-34. .. Ukraine. United Airlines is licensed by the United States, the EU, and the United Kingdom.
VSMPO-Avisma is a European Airbus AIR. The giant Boeing CoBA in the US aerospace until March, when the company, which also sells to PA and is based in Arlington, Virginia, announced that it had stopped buying titanium from Russia. It was supplying to N. Boeing announced in November 2021 just a few months ago that VSMPO-Avisma will be the largest titanium supplier "for current and future Boeing commercial aircraft."
VSMPO-Avisma and shareholder Shelkov declined to comment. Boeing said in a statement that it has been working to diversify its sources of titanium around the world since 2014, with current inventories and sources "providing sufficient supply for airplane production." Said.
Airbus did not answer any specific questions regarding its relationship with VSMPO-Avisma. However, a statement in an email stated that potential sanctions against Russia's titanium "would cause enormous damage to the entire European aerospace industry," but their sales were just one of Russia's overall exports. Since it is only a part, it does little harm to Russia.
According to the company's latest annual report, overseas sales in 2020 accounted for about two-thirds of VSMPO-Avisma's $ 1.25 billion revenue.
This puts Western officials in a difficult situation, says Richard Connolly, director of Eastern Advisory Group, a British consultancy that advises governments and businesses on the Russian economy and its defense industry. rice field. The slap of sanctions against VSMPO-Avisma reduces its lucrative export trade, but it also puts key players in the global aviation industry at risk of supplier switching and sanctions.
"It's a classic sanctions challenge. If you want to hurt someone, you'll hurt yourself," Connolly said.