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The Insider: Russian Kinzhal manufacturer imports components from EU

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 25, 2023 7:13 PM 2 min read
Mikoyan MiG-31K jets carrying Kinzhal missiles fly over Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2018. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency)
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Russian factories that produce Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles are using components imported from multiple European Union countries, Russian investigative news outlet The Insider reported on Oct. 25.

Kinzhal missiles are allegedly Russia's most advanced air-launched ballistic missiles, with a speed of up to 12,000 kilometers per hour.

A single Kinzhal costs the Russian state $10 million, "approximately 50,000 average Russian pensions," The Insider pointed out.

Kinzhals, as well as other weapons like Iskander missiles, are produced by the Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau (KBM), part of a holding of Rostec, the state-owned defense conglomerate.

Company records show that equipment is still being imported via intermediaries in Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, and the U.K.

Replacement tools, for example, were supplied in January 2023 from a Berlin-based logistics company. The tools are manufactured by the Swedish multinational machinery producer Sandvik.

Russia’s Kinzhal missile is not hypersonic. Nor is it invincible
When the Kremlin says something, it should always be taken with a grain of salt. When it says something about its military prowess, one should take the claim with an entire salt mine. For years, Russia’s Kinzhal missile was portrayed by the Kremlin’s propaganda machine as an invincible,

The Insider also discovered that the head of the company, Sergei Pitikov, has a personal connection to Sweden. His daughter, Maya Pitikova, and her family have settled in the country and bought a house in a small town near Malmo.

The Insider manged to get a comment from Pitikova, who said that "the Putin regime is waging a criminal, bloody, senseless war."

However, she refused to comment further, saying that she was "not ready to participate in a conversation that is initially directed against my father."

While analysts doubt whether Kinzhals are as effective as Russia claims on paper, their range and speed still makes them deadly.

A Kinzhal strike on an airfield in August in the western oblast of Ivano-Frankivsk killed an 8-year-old child.

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