Ukraine’s Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin, leading the effort to revive Ukraine’s domestic arms industry, envisions a future where Ukraine, post-war with Russia, becomes the “arsenal of the free world,” prioritizing arms production and exporting weapons, according to The Guardian.
“For the next decades, defense should be the major industry in Ukraine. After the war, it should be our core export product,” Kamyshin told The Guardian in an interview at his office in Kyiv.
Kamyshin initially led Ukraine’s state railway network during the all-out war. In March, President Zelenskyy appointed him as Minister of Strategic Industries. Before the February invasion, Ukraine’s arms industry was plagued by scandals and limited weapon stockpiles despite years of the Donbas war.
“We had a few Javelins but it was mostly Soviet stocks,” said Kamyshin.
A Guardian defense source claimed that Ukraine did not produce any ammunition in 2021, the year preceding the full-scale invasion.
“Now, Kamyshin wants to revive the state sector, as well as coordinate the myriad small private enterprises that have sprung up to make weapons for the Ukrainian army, ranging from big companies to a few people tinkering in a shed. There are already more than 200 Ukrainian companies making drones, said Kamyshin, and many more with promising ideas,” The Guardian says.
While the war persists, all manufacturing within Ukraine remains dedicated to the support of the Ukrainian war effort. However, Kamyshin envisions leveraging newly acquired technology post-war to mass-produce and export weapons, potentially displacing Russia’s traditional export markets.