Tens of Russian weapons manufacturers have escaped Western sanctions, new Trap Aggressor research reveals

Twenty-four Russian arms manufacturers involved in the production of missiles and other Russian weapon systems used in the war against Ukraine are not under any sanctions in the United Kingdom, European Union, or United States, our research has found. 

Among the Russian companies that have evaded sanctions is NPO Novator, which developed the Kalibr cruise missile used by Russia to level Ukrainian cities to the ground and has caused a number of civilian deaths. 

Vostochnaya Verf, a shipbuilding company based in Vladivostok and manufacturer of the Serna-class landing craft used during Russia’s assault on Snake Island, is also not sanctioned in the UK, EU, or US. 

The Izhevsk Elektromechanicheskii Plant “Kupol”, another unsanctioned entity, continues to actively manufacture weapons used in Russia’s war on Ukraine. In June 2022, Russian state media reported that the plant had begun work on a new module for the Tor anti-aircraft missile system.

In some instances, our analysis found that while Russian parent companies had been sanctioned, they were still able to attract investment by using their unsanctioned subsidiaries.

Responding to the report, Hlib Kanievskyi, head of research at Trap Aggressorh, said: “These findings confirm that prominent Russian arms manufacturers have escaped consequence for their continued contribution to the illegal unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. These 24 entities continue to operate unhindered by targeted sanctions, playing a critical role in enabling Russia’s war atrocities.

“It is vital that the unified effort to counter the Russian war machine extends to these entities. They cannot be allowed to continue enabling the Russian armed forces perpetrate their crimes in Ukraine.

“While western powers have in many cases sanctioned Russian parent companies, it is vital that subsidiaries are sanctioned individually to prevent any covert cooperation with sanctioned entities.” 

StateWatch is a non-governmental organization and think tank based in Kyiv and founded in January 2018, with the view to establishing principles of good governance in the work of government agencies. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, StateWatch established a new analytical project focused on the sanctions policy –  Trap Aggressor. 

For more information and a full list of the 24 companies, download our media release here.