UK-registered firm has supplied Russia materials for tank production
LONDON ($1=0.84 British Pounds) — Evraz Steel Corporation, which is a UK-registered firm, used its subsidiaries to supply raw materials for the production of tanks and explosives needed by the Russian military. The information was obtained through an investigation by OCCRP, which said Russian oligarch and former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich owns 29% of Evraz, and that the company has “supplied the armed forces directly or indirectly for more than a decade”.
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The Russian company denies being involved in military production, announcing in a press release that “the company in Russia supplies infrastructure and construction products for civilian use only.” However, OCCRP investigators investigated and found that subsidiaries of Evraz participated in government contracts [these companies are listed on Russia’s public procurement website] announced by Russian military factories, including Russia’s largest battle tank manufacturer, UralVagonZavod, explosives factories, as well as direct cooperation with the National Guard.
What the UK-registered firm delivered?
Example: Evraz ZSMK [United West Siberian Iron and Steel Works] in the period 2015 – 2018 supplied the oil-coal raw material toluene, which is a component in the production of explosives. The contract is with a Russian state company for the production of explosives and is worth 2.8 million USD.
Another similar example is the supply by Evraz NTMK [Nizhny Tagil Metallurgical Plant] of steel for 1.4 million USD. at UralVagonZavod in 2018. Another similar example is the involvement of a subsidiary of UK-registered Evraz, which supplied $227,000 worth of vanadium slag also to UralVagonZavod, which vanadium slag is used to temper steel in weapons production.
Abramovich buys Evraz in 2022
Currently, many of UK-registered Evraz and Evraz’s subsidiaries are already under sanctions by the British government, but this only happened in May this year – almost 60 days after Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine and the war between the two countries began. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Roman Abramovich received sanctions from the British government in March of this year.
Evraz confirmed that the owner of the company is Roman Abramovich, who acquired Greenleas International Holdings Ltd. shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Greenleas International Holdings Ltd was the then owner of Evraz and is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
UralVagonZavod during the Ukraine war
As we reported in July the only tank manufacturer in the Russian Federation – UralVagonZavod has partially suspended production, employees have been sent on unpaid leave and financial difficulties due to lawsuits against the Russian manufacturer continue. At the moment, UralVagonZavod does not produce the desired amount of tanks but has focused its efforts on repairing destroyed combat equipment.
Military analysts predict that the difficulties faced by the Russian manufacturer UralVagonZavod, the war in Ukraine, in which Russia is throwing a lot of armored vehicles, but also losing a lot of armored vehicles, will lead to a “reformatting of the entire world arms market in the foreseeable future. That is, the Russian Federation may be pushed out of its niche,” says Alexander Kovalenko in his commentary.
Production problems for UralVagonZavod are significant. In addition to the lack of components and spare parts, as well as the suspended supply of Western technology to Russia, UralVagonZavod is facing a “cooperative problem along the entire chain in the industry.” For example, the company is losing contracts and orders because another Russian manufacturer Barnaul Machine-Building Plant is losing customers, including countries from North America, India, China, and Egypt. Now, as with UralVagonZavod, the Barnaul Machine-Building Plant is laying off employees and stopping production, and only a year ago it was exporting to more than 30 countries around the world.
As BulgarianMilitary.com wrote two days ago [July 7th], UralVagonZavod even refuses to repair burned tanks coming from the war in Ukraine.
As we reported on July 6, the Ukrainian intelligence continues to claim that Russian industry has not yet overcome its dependence on Western technology and that economic sanctions are having a serious impact. In April this year, the US also mentioned problems in Russian production and repair of military equipment. In a speech at the end of March, Thea Kendler, assistant secretary for export administration at the Ministry of Trade, said that in addition to UralVagonZavod, the Russian company Baikal Electronics was experiencing difficulties. It is a company producing computers and semiconductors. According to Kendler, the company no longer receives integrated circuits. They are needed, she says, to maintain the company’s server equipment.
Kendler recalled that only 5% of imports to Russia come from the United States, but almost 50% come from Europe. At the same time, Taiwan has dealt a very serious blow to Russia’s military industry as the local TSMC has left the Russian market. TSMC is the world’s largest chip maker. With the departure of the Russian market from TSMC, Russia is losing a huge number of MIPS needed in the development of military intelligence systems and other military systems. In particular, it concerns the interruption of access to Elbrus chips.
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