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Russia Nationalized 15 Defense Firms Since 2023 – Top Prosecutor

Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov

The Russian government has seized 15 defense companies valued at some 333 billion rubles ($3.6 billion) since last year, Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov told the Kommersant business daily in an interview published late Tuesday.

After Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Russian authorities have sought to nationalize key assets in the country’s defense industry in a bid to command greater control over ramped-up military production.

Officials including President Vladimir Putin have defended the move, denying that Russia is undergoing a de-privatization or nationalization of its economy.

“Since 2023, through judicial proceedings solely in the defense industry sector, 15 strategic enterprises with a total value exceeding 333 billion rubles have been returned to [the Russian state’s] ownership, which unlawfully left its possession and in some cases came under foreign control,” Krasnov was quoted as saying by Kommersant.

“The enterprises came into private ownership as a result of abuses by their executives, as well as government authorities, including former governors, and former law enforcement officials who did not have the authority to dispose of state property,” he added.

During a televised address earlier on Tuesday, Krasnov valued the seized assets at 1 trillion rubles ($10.8 billion) and claimed that some of the funds had been transferred to “finance terrorist activities on the part of Ukraine.”

Among the widely publicized asset seizures is the Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant in February, whose former owner, the Russian billionaire Yury Antipov, was arrested on charges of fraud. 

State prosecutors who sued Antipov claimed that he and his wife had transferred assets to countries that are “unfriendly” toward Russia to “damage” national defense and security interests.

Antipov's defense denied the plants were linked to the country's military-industrial sector, arguing instead that its products are supplied to metallurgical plants, which then deliver steel to defense contractors.

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