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20 May 2023

Svitlana Anisimova, Root Nation

Ukraine: Govt. designates Indian CK Birla Group as intl. war sponsor over trade with Russian military-industrial complex

Indian company CK Birla Group added to the list of international sponsors of war, 20 May 2023

Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has added the Indian company CK Birla Group to the list of international sponsors of the war. The company and its subsidiary National Engineering Industries Limited (brand NBC Bearings) are helping the Russian military-industrial complex to replace critical European and American parts, namely bearings.

Bearings are a critical component for tanks, various armoured and tracked vehicles and aircraft. In addition, they are essential for the functioning of the railway, which is the main method of Russian military supply and, indeed, all Russian logistics. Although this part seems simple on the surface, Russians are not able to produce bearings in the quantity and quality they need. Statistics show that in 2020, Russia imported $419 million worth of bearings, and just over half of this volume came from Europe and North America (primarily Germany – 16%).

After the start of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, European and American bearing manufacturers withdrew from the Russian market. The shortage of these parts led to the shutdown of Russia’s main tank-building and tank-repair enterprises, Uralvagonzavod and Omsktransmash. As a bonus, there were problems in the design of aircraft, ships, submarines and train maintenance.

The CK Birla Group and its bearing brand NBC Bearings have decided to help the Russian military-industrial complex in building and rebuilding the Russian invasion army. According to customs data, between April 2022 and March 2023, NBC Bearings’ share of imports of bearings from India to Russia was 38.4%, with $12.3 million spent on them. The main buyer in Russia was the European Bearing Corporation (EPK) group of companies. The products of this Russian industrial conglomerate are actively used in the manufacture of locomotives, aircraft, missile systems and other military equipment...

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