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Ukraine designates German company Knauf as 'international sponsor of war'

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 23, 2023 4:17 PM 2 min read
The headquarters of the Knauf Group in Bavaria, Germany, on Aug. 19, 2019. (Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) added Knauf, one of the world's largest manufacturers of building materials, to its list of "international sponsors of war," the agency announced on Nov. 23.  

The company operates in Russia through 10 subsidiaries and has invested over $1.8 billion into the Russian economy since 1993, according to the NACP.

It is known for manufacturing building materials like drywall, plaster, and insulation.

Knauf announced they had no plans to leave the Russian market following the launch of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and went on to contribute around $117 million to the Russian state budget in 2022 alone, the agency said.

It has 20 factories in Russia and employs over 4,000 people, making it the largest German investor in the Russian construction industry.

The company has actively helped the Russian military mobilize its employees, according to NACP, citing German media reports from October 2022.

The managers of a Knauf factory near Moscow reportedly checked the lists of who would receive military summons, dividing the employees into those who were essential for the functioning of the plant and those who could join the military.

Knauf's close relations with the Russian authorities stretch further into the past.

Nikolaus Knauf, the son of the founder and a key shareholder, received an Order of Friendship in 2006 from Russian President Vladimir Putin for his contribution to developing relations between Russia and Germany.  

Russia appointed him the head of an honorary consulate in Nuremberg in 1999, a role he gave up in March 2022 following local protests.

Ukraine designates Nestle as ‘international sponsor of war’
Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) added Nestle to its list of “international sponsors of war,” for its continued business in Russia, the agency’s press service announced on Nov. 2.
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