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  • By The Financial District

Dozens Of Russian Weapons Tycoons Haven't Been Sanctioned: Reuters

As Russia's military continues to bombard Ukraine with missiles and other lethal weaponry, Western nations have responded in part by imposing sanctions on Russia's defense sector.

Photo Insert: General Designer of Almaz-Antey Aerospace Defence Concern Pavel Sozinov in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin

The latest round occurred on Tuesday, when the US imposed fresh penalties on some armament manufacturers and individuals at the heart of Russian President Vladimir Putin's "war machine," Chris Kirkham and David Gauthier-Villars reported for Reuters.

However, a Reuters investigation of the companies, executives, and investors that support Russia's defense sector reveals that a sizable number of players have yet to pay a price: nearly three dozen leaders of Russian weapons firms and at least 14 defense companies have not been sanctioned by the US, the European Union, or the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, sanctions against Russia's arms manufacturers and tycoons have been handled inconsistently by NATO allies, with some governments levying penalties and others not, according to the Reuters review.

Alan Lushnikov, the main stakeholder of Kalashnikov Concern JSC, the original maker of the well-known AK-47 assault rifle, is among the weapons moguls who have not been sanctioned by any of those three institutions. According to the most recent business papers seen by Reuters, Lushnikov owns 75% of the company.

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The US sanctioned the corporation in 2014, the year Russia invaded and occupied the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

This year, the EU and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Kalashnikov Concern. According to its website and most recent annual report, the business produces 95 percent of Russia's machine guns, sniper rifles, handguns, and other handheld weaponry, and 98 percent of its handheld military machine guns. Its weapons include the AK-12 assault rifle, an upgraded variant of the AK-47, which Ukrainian soldiers have acquired from Russian forces.

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The Kalashnikov Concern also manufactures missiles that can be launched from aircraft or from the ground.

Almaz-Antey Concern, a Moscow-based defense firm specializing in missiles and anti-aircraft systems, follows the same strategy. The corporation has been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, although CEO Yan Novikov has not been punished. The tagline of Almaz-website Antey's is "Peaceful Sky is Our Profession."

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The company manufactures Kalibr missiles, which the Russian Ministry of Defense claims were used to destroy Ukrainian military installations. The ministry announced last month that Russia had fired long-range Kalibr missiles into a Ukrainian command post near the hamlet of Shyroka Dacha in eastern Ukraine, killing more than 50 Ukrainian military generals and officers.

Other Russian defense businesses identified by Reuters that have not been sanctioned by the US, EU, or UK include the V.A. Degtyarev Plant, located 165 miles northeast of Moscow, which manufactures machine guns, anti-tank, and anti-aircraft weapons for the Russian military. It manufactures the Kalashnikov PKM and PKTM machine guns, as well as Kord rifles and machine guns, some of which are mounted on armored vehicles.

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Also not sanctioned is the Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant, located south of Moscow, which produces "world-famous cartridges" for pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles, according to an archived version of their website. Neither is the Novosibirsk Cartridge Plant, a manufacturer of ammunition that bills itself as “one of the leading engineering enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Russia.”

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