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Insider: Western companies supply spare parts for Russian tanks

The Insider’s investigation exposes a global supply chain supporting Russia’s military enterprises.
Russia’s Armata tank. Credit: TASS

An investigation by The Insider reveals that private sector companies based in countries of the Group of Seven (G7) — alongside those from the EU and South Korea — are supplying essential equipment and parts to Russian defense enterprises, including spare parts for tanks, sustaining Russia’s “war machine.”

In Russia, Uralvagonzavod, the largest developer and producer of armored vehicles and equipment, manufactures the Armata tanks, touted by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “best tank in the world.” These tanks are equipped with the Sosna-U sight, developed by Belarusian designers and produced by the Vologda Optical-Mechanical Plant (VOMZ), part of the Rostec state corporation’s Shvabe holding.

According to state procurement data, IPK Finval, a supplier of lathes for VOMZ and other Rostec enterprises, sources parts from Italian firm M.T.S.R.L. from San Giovanni in Marignano (Rimini). Another defense supplier for metalworking lathes to VOMZ and the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation is LLC Pumori-North-West from Saint Petersburg, which imported a shot blasting installation from Norblast SRL. in Bologna in January this year.

According to the Insider, “firms from the Baltic countries often provide logistic and transport services, supplying Russian defense contractors with European manufacturers’ products.” For instance, Gold Solution OU and Leolart.com import Italian goods from Tallinn, Estonia, for the Pumori-Severo-Zapad Russian company, while Estonian Alekon OU offers warehousing services.

German company WTO Werkzeug-Einrichtungen GmbH is a supplier to several Russian defense contractors, the report reads. Yekaterinburg’s LLC OTS-Technologies receives parts for lathes from WTO, which also supplies tool blocks to Penza’s LLC TD SMS, affiliated with LLC Stankomashbud, supplying machines to Rostec.

Latvia‘s Baltic Machinery supplied Russian Unimatik, which manufactures shell casings for field and tank artillery, using a customs warehouse in Vilnius owned by UAB Didneriai. Lithuanian UAB Elfanta participates in exporting washers and plugs for Austrian-origin lathes to Unimatik.

“We are a warehousing and customs documentation company. We do not collect data on who the recipient of the goods is,” a UAB Elfanta representative told the Insider.

Finnish company Meconet OY supplied copper tape and semiconductor device parts to JSC TD Proton-Electrotex during the war, the Insider claims.

Mabuchi Korea Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea, supplies oil for lathes, lens grinding machines, and polishing powder to Ryazan’s NPK Macrooptica, the Insider reports.

Japan‘s Japan Industrial Trading and Kaga Electronics provide Elecond with sealing rubber gaskets, cathode foil, and ready electrolyte for electrolytic capacitor production.

Serbian firm Grindex D.O.O. manufactures high-precision grinding machines for cylindrical surfaces, purchased by Unimatik and Ryazan’s LLC Krona, a subcontractor to Uralvagonzavod. Austria’s EMCO GmbH, a key supplier to Unimatik and the tank gun manufacturer Plant No. 9, provides Russian defense contractors with lathes and other components.

Universal Photonics, based in New York, US, exports alumina and polishing powders to Russian firms NPK Macrooptica and LLC TPK RZM, contractors to the Vologda Optical-Mechanical Plant.

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