Skip to content
Edit post

Media: German companies involved in Russian 'reconstruction' of occupied Mariupol

by Kateryna Denisova April 4, 2024 9:49 AM 2 min read
Damaged buildings are being demolished in Russian-occupied Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 16, 2023. (Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

German companies Knauf and WKB Systems GmbH are involved in the so-called restoration efforts of occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast, which was destroyed by Russian troops, according to an investigation published on April 3 by journalists of the Monitor program of the German TV channel ARD.

The city came under siege by Russian forces between February and May 2022, leaving thousands dead and reducing Mariupol to rubble. According to authorities' rough estimates, at least 25,000 people could have been killed during the siege of Mariupol. The exact number of dead remains unknown and could be much higher.

The reconstruction of Mariupol is part of Russian propaganda efforts to hide evidence of the destruction caused by Russia's forces. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian attacks destroyed over 95% of the buildings in the city.

ARD journalists looked into the websites of construction companies, documents, photos, and videos to find evidence of German companies' involvement in the reconstruction of the destroyed Mariupol.

They revealed that Russia uses Knauf company's cement in construction works, among other things. Knauf currently employs 4,000 people in Russia and generates billions in sales in the Russian market, according to the investigation.

Visit KI Insights to learn more and subscribe to the insider weekly newsletter
visit ki insights

The company responded to a journalists' request, saying that it condemns Russia's war against Ukraine and "complies with all EU sanctions against Russia." Knauf manufactures products in Russia "exclusively for the Russian market," the company said.

ARD journalists also spotted concrete blocks in green packaging film in the footage with the name of the German company WKB Systems from the Munsterland region of North Rhine-Westphalia. Among other things, this company equips concrete block production plants.

The company's main shareholder is Russian businessman Viktor Budarin, who is not under EU sanctions, according to the report.

"Customs data available to the Monitor show that WKB Systems GmbH has been supplying complete plants for aerated concrete block factories for years to one of Budarin's Russian companies. Apparently the same company whose products Russia is using to strengthen its hold on Mariupol," the investigation said.

Foreign Ministry condemns event on Russia’s ‘rebirth’ of Mariupol to be held in Italy
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry condemned an event on the “rebirth” of Mariupol after Russia’s brutal siege, planned by an Italian pro-Russian association, as propaganda and a provocation, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Jan. 4, citing Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko.
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:26 PM

Senate Democrats back Johnson's foreign aid bills.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on April 19 that Senate Democrats will support House Speaker Mike Johnson's series of bills that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other priorities if they pass the House.
10:01 PM

Russian attack on Kherson kills 80-year-old woman.

In a post on Telegram, the head of the city's military administration, Roman Mrochko, said the victim was walking the streets when she was hit in an attack launched from the occupied east bank of Kherson.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.