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Article

27 Sep 2022

Author:
Business4Ukraine

Russia: New law obliges companies to assist govt. with war mobilization

Multinational companies in Russia are now obliged to assist the Kremlin with war mobilization, 26 September 2022

International companies are now obliged to assist the Kremlin’s war mobilization by helping conscript soldiers and equip the army. Between them, they have at least 700,000 employees and $141 billion in assets, according to an analysis by B4Ukraine...B4Ukraine is urging multinationals to leave Russia immediately to avoid becoming directly complicit in Russia’s devastating war, war crimes, and atrocities in Ukraine.

On September 21, 2022, almost seven months into Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization in Russia. The accompanying legislation on mobilization - known as Article 9 of Federal Law No. 31-FZ - mandates all organizations, including international companies, to conduct military registration of the staff if at least one of the employees is liable for military service. They must also assist with delivering the summons from the military to their employees, ensure the delivery of equipment to assembly points or military units, and provide buildings, communications, land plots, transport and other material means as well as information...

The legislation applies to all of the 1,610 companies that are currently operating on a full or limited scale in Russia. Analysis from the Kyiv School of Economics reveals that 87% of people employed by multinationals in Russia work for companies from 10 countries: the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Japan, Italy, Greece, China, and the Netherlands. In particular, US companies employ 251,294 people in Russia, French companies employ 123,642 people, and German companies employ 91,280 people. These companies work in the automotive sector, food and drinks, tobacco, retail, pharma, electronics sector, and many others. 

According to Russian media, businesses have already begun preparations for a possible mobilization of employees, including creating special mobilization departments. “...Now the Kremlin’s mobilization makes companies directly involved in conscripting the soldiers among their employees who will come to Ukraine to kill and occupy,” said Nataliia Popovych, Founder of One Philosophy and WeAreUkraine.info, adding:  “It gives carte blanche to Russia’s authorities to pull resources from companies. This is a red flag for companies who have chosen to remain in Russia. Your risk of complicity in Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine is now very real...Regardless of whether a business is under sanctions, the international responsibilities for companies are clearly set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” added Natalia Popovych...