Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Unauthorized Russian companies pay Russian soldiers to fight in Ukraine – Investigation

Russian oligarchs’ companies that are not under sanctions fictitiously employ Russia soldiers and pay them for fighting in Ukraine.
On the left: Oleg Deripaska and his company Rusal. On the right: Leonid Mikhelson, Gennady Timchenko and their company Novatek.
Unauthorized Russian companies pay Russian soldiers to fight in Ukraine – Investigation

Russian oligarchs’ companies that are not under sanctions, are paying volunteers, who are going to war against Ukraine as part of the Russian Armed Forces, according to the Vazhnyye Istoriyi.

According to Vazhnye Istorii, these companies fictitiously employ such volunteers and send them to the front. It increases the number of people willing to go to war, which allows the Russian authorities to refrain from active mobilization.

“We first hire (volunteers) the day before the contract is signed (with the Defense Ministry), and then we suspend the employment contract, and we have a reason to pay bonuses to our employee who went to the “special military operation” (it is the official Russian term for war). This is the scheme,” one of the recruiters who work for the Sokol battalion (part of the 108th Air Assault Regiment) told Vazhnyye Istoriyi.

Among those who sponsor fighters of volunteer battalions of the Russian army are companies of Russian oligarchs, such as Oleg Deripaska, Leonid Michelson, Gennady Timchenko. As per the investigation, some companies that formally employ military personnel are not included in any sanction lists. However, some oligarchs are.

Deripaska, as noted, is under sanctions. However, his company Rusal, whose managers are now recruiting mercenaries for the war with Ukraine, was released from sanctions after Deripaska reduced his stake in the company below the controlling one.

Novatek, owned by Leonid Mikhelson and Vladimir Putin’s friend Gennady Timchenko (both are under sanctions), is the second largest natural gas producer in Russia after Gazprom. Novatek was only partially affected by the sanctions. However, in 2022, the company increased its liquefied natural gas supplies to Europe.

According to the investigation, payments for such volunteers are much higher than for ordinary soldiers. It is about 200 thousand rubles per month in addition to payments from the Ministry of Defense.

As per Vazhnyye Istoriyi, in some regions of Russia, companies raise salaries for volunteers. For example, in Yakutia, the far east of Russia, they already offer 300 thousand rubles from the sponsoring company and 200 thousand rubles from the Defense Ministry.

Read also:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Related Posts
    Read More

    Mexican embassy resumes operations in Ukraine

    After the phone conversation with the Secretary of Mexican Foreign Affairs, the Head of the Office of Ukraine's President, Andriy Yermak, said, "These steps open a new page in bilateral relations between the countries." Earlier, Mexico claimed it would not impose sanctions against Russia.