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Russian billionaire family exploits EU sanctions loopholes to support Russian military – investigation

KAMAZ, a Russian truck manufacturer supplying vehicles for Russia’s war against Ukraine, acquires spare parts from Austria through relatives of its owner Sergey Kogogin, who are still not subject to EU sanctions
Russian KAMAZ truck. Credit: open sources

Russian billionaire Sergey Kogogin and his family, by exploiting the lack of EU sanctions, continue to support Russia’s war against Ukraine through KAMAZ PJSC’s export of spare parts, despite the company’s trucks being used by Russian forces, the Ukrainian sanctions monitoring Trap Aggressor project revealed.

Sergey Kogogin has been under sanctions by Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada for over a year. However, the European Union has not imposed sanctions on Kogogin, allowing him and his relatives to continue supporting Russia’s defense industry during the ongoing war against Ukraine.

Kogogin, a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has deeply integrated into Russia’s political and industrial fabric. His statement, “Mr. Putin has enabled us to hold the blow stroke against our country with the sanctions. And the industry, of course, supports our President,” reflects his allegiance and the vital role of his company in Russia’s geopolitical strategy.

Besides producing military equipment for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Kogogin has also been active in Russia’s political landscape, having held various governmental positions and supporting Putin’s campaigns.

Meanwhile, Kogogin’s wife Alfia serves in Russia’s State Duma and voted for the decree “on the need to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics,” supporting policies that undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Their daughter Tatyana has lived in Austria for years, formerly serving as executive director of the now-liquidated firm Eridamis GmbH.

Tatyana’s husband, Dmitri Kuramshyn, was the director and founder of KNK Automotive GmbH before it dissolved in March 2022, soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. He previously led the Kran Tsentr KAMAZ joint venture between KAMAZ and Austrian company Palfinger, which still advertises jointly produced KAMAZ goods.

“KAMAZ PJSC is, probably, using the companies connected with Tatyana Kogogina and Dmitri Kuramshyn to organize import supplies in circumvention of the existing sanctions restrictions,” Trap Aggressor stated.

Tatyana now works with PowerLine Handels GmbH, an automotive company run by Artem Martyrosyan, formerly of KAMAZ. According to Trap Aggressor, Tatyana mentioned this fact on her LinkedIn page. Martyrosyan also directs PowerLine Transmission GmbH and PowerLine Automotive GmbH in Austria. The supplied products included bus suspensions, ceramic filters, and spare parts for trailers.

In 2023 alone, Austrian PowerLine Automotive GmbH has supplied over $2.5 million in products to Russian firm Turbo King LLC and around $250,000 to Scientific and Production Association Rostar LLC, which imports goods directly to the sanctioned KAMAZ.

Before UK and US sanctions in mid-2022, KAMAZ imported products directly from PowerLine Handels GmbH. Former KAMAZ executive Akhat Urmanov, who co-owned a Russian firm with Kogogin, coordinates the supply chain. After the sanctions, supplies were rerouted through Turkish A.Y.A.Universal Trading Denizcilik Kumanyacilik Lyman Hizmetleri Ithalat Ihracat, indicating a strategic adjustment to continue operations.

The investigation highlights the need for the European Union to impose sanctions on individuals like Sergey Kogogin and their families, who are instrumental in supporting Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. Despite existing sanctions from other countries, the lack of EU sanctions allows these individuals to continue their business operations in Europe, aiding Russia’s military-industrial complex.

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