Russian missile makers avoid European sanctions

(To Renato Caputo)

Since the start of the full-scale invasion, most of Russia's military production has fallen under Western sanctions, but the contractors of the factories that produce the Kinzhal, the most dangerous of the Russian guided missiles used in the war of aggression against Ukraine, are still avoiding European sanctions.

At the same time, the family of the director of the mechanical engineering design bureau of the company producing these missiles settled in Europe.

During the war, Rostec Production of Kinzhal missiles has increased. This is a supersonic missile, created on the basis ofIskander, and is more difficult to shoot down than other guided missiles. A Kinzhal it costs the Russian budget ten million dollars. Is Iskander is Kinzhal are produced by Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau Corporation (NPK KBM) from Kolomna.

The KBM is headed by Sergei Pitikov. He is 64 years old, he worked - in Soviet times - for the presidential office almost all his life. Apparently he manages to live, without any sense of guilt, with the position he holds within this company responsible for the killing of thousands of Ukrainian civilians. Probably, his excellent salary (more than 30 million rubles a year) allows him to silence his conscience.

As an investigation by investigative journalist Sergei Ezhov recently found, the daughter and grandchildren of this top Russian missile industry executive live in Sweden. In 2021, Maya Pitikova even bought a house in the town of Rydsgård near Malmö for around half a million euros. According to Swedish records (in Sweden the income of all residents is public), her total annual income and that of her partner total around 80 thousand euros per year. Additionally, Maya also purchased a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus car last year for a cost comparable to her annual income. Without the financial help of her parents, she would hardly have been able to afford such purchases. It is difficult to believe that, at least in part, the money used for these purchases is not stained with the blood of Ukrainian citizens killed by missiles supplied to the Russian armed forces by the NPK "KBM" of which Sergei Pitikov, Maya's father, is the director.

In the West, Sergei Pitikov not only has his own family, but also has his own suppliers: from abroad, the manufacturer of the missiles Kinzhal receives the components necessary for production. Previously, it had emerged that the microcircuits used were manufactured by Texas Instruments, Analog Devices e Altera. Now it has become clear that the ETC Electronics LLC, based in Moscow, created in 2021, imports microcircuits from these manufacturers through the Chinese company ETC Electronics Limited.

The formal founder of ETS Electronics she is 38 year old Ekaterina Kulakovskaya. As has been established, she is an employee of the Mikron company owned by Rostec. During the war, the company ETS Electronics participated in the Army 2022 Forum, receiving a diploma from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. However, he has not yet been subjected to EU sanctions.

According to what is reported on the public procurement website, the NPK KBM import Espec equipment via the Ostek-Test LLC based in Moscow. This company, even during the war, as ImportGenius data shows, continued to import Espec equipment from Poland.

Many supplies also come from Germany. The lathes of NPK KBM, for example, are provided by KEB-Rus LLC which is a partner of the German company KEB, authorized supplier of components and developer of control systems for technological processes. During the war the KEB-Rus for example, it also imported cables from Germany.

The supplier of pistol drills and other tools manufactured by Sandvik for NPK KBM è Mir Machine Operator LLC. This Russian defense contractor receives the products Sandvik da IR-Logistik GMBH from Berlin. For example, replacement work tools were supplied in January this year.

The developer of the “brain” of Kinzal is the Research Institute for Electronic Devices (NIIEP), which is always part of Rostec. His contractor is Radiant-EK, which supplied integrated circuits directly to NPK KBM. The Radiant-EK continued to import reels and tapes for protective packaging of electronic components from Germany, even during the war. To provide them there Advantek GmbH.

Other European countries also showed up in supplies. So, for example, another Russian company listed in government contracts both with NIIEP that with NPK KBM è Sonatek LLC. It offers "modern metal measuring and processing equipment from the world's leading manufacturers." The European trading partners of Sonatek LLC I'm: UAB Breitto (Lithuania), Baltic Shipping Agency LTD Sp. z oo (Poland), UAB "CUST LT" (Lithuania), Hermis Ekspo SIA (Latvia), Groupe D'Investissement Financier SA (Belgium), Aberlink Ltd (United Kingdom) and others.

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