Dozens of Europe-based companies have continued to do business with Russian firms that supply Moscow’s military with critical goods and equipment as it wages war on Ukraine, according to a report published Wednesday by investigative news outlet The Insider.
The outlet found that 25 companies from Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria and Poland had fulfilled orders with various companies known to have links to the Russian Armed Forces.
Among the items sold by the European companies were microchips for missiles, fiber optics for night vision devices, tactical boots, body armor, components for warship engines and more.
One example highlighted in The Insider’s investigation is the Moscow-based Stan LLC, a developer of machine tools that is part of state defense conglomerate Rostec.
Since the start of the war, Stan LLC has received technical equipment from Germany's Vansped Logistics despite the sanctions imposed on Rostec, according to the ImportGenius database.
Another case involved the Rostov-based company Donobuv, which publicly states on its website that it supplies Russia’s Defense Ministry with tactical boots.
As The Insider found, last summer Donobuv imported German shoe glue and leather, as well as Italian soles, for its products.
The report indicates that all Europe-based companies surveyed have engaged in business with Russian military contractors since the onset of the war in Ukraine.
However, it is unclear whether these companies are currently involved in such transactions — the investigation presents documentation showing orders made only last year.
The report’s findings raise questions about the effectiveness of Western sanctions and their ability to restrict the flow of supplies to the Russian army as its nearly 15-month war in Ukraine grinds on.