ChrisO_wiki Profile picture
May 8 24 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Russia's defence industry has deep weaknesses that mean it's unlikely to be able to meet government targets for boosting production, according to independent journalists who have interviewed employees working for weapons manufacturers. ⬇️ Image
2/ The Russian government has pledged to greatly increase weapons production to replace war losses, with Dmitry Medvedev setting a target of 1,500 new tanks per year. But that target seems unlikely to be met, according to independent Russian news outlet Verstka.
3/ Verstka's reporters have spoken to workers at Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) in Nizhny Tagil, Russia's largest armoured vehicle manufacturer. It expanded to a three shift operation and is advertising for many skilled metalworking roles at salaries "from 100,000 rubles" ($1,287).
4/ However, workers there and at other arms manufacturers say that poor wages, difficult working conditions, staff shortages, unfilled vacancies and so-called "voluntary-compulsory donations" for the war effort are seriously undermining production.
5/ A UVZ worker explains why positions go unfilled despite the new orders: "The wages that are announced are for 300-plus hours a month at a rate of 174,000. And these salaries are for the locals, who have worked for many years with high grades, who make the most expensive parts.
6/ "But the newcomers run away in a month when they see the real wages."
7/ The real wages, the workers say, are as low as 40,000 rubles ($516) per month for a normal working schedule. To make the higher salary, someone would have to work around the clock, stopping only to sleep. This clearly isn't a realistic scenario.
8/ Despite the increase in work, bosses have often not increased wages. At Strela Production Association JSC in Orenburg, a manufacturer of drones and missiles, engineers are paid 42,000 ($546) while locksmiths and millers get only 30,000 ($390) a month.
9/ "People think that we are paid fabulous money here in the defence industry, saying that because this special military operation is going on, our salaries are big. There is no such thing, for the last three years I have been getting pennies, and I still do," says one worker.
10/ Defence workers are also unhappy at their companies' habit of making them pay 'voluntary-compulsory contributions'. This is a common practice in Russian state-owned organisations, including in the army where junior officers are made to pay for barracks maintenance.
11/ "As early as last year," a UVZ worker says, "we were forced to sign applications to donate our daily salaries to some kind of support fund for the special military operation. It was impossible not to sign. They received about 1,500 or 2,000 from each of us."
12/ Verstka estimates that UVZ employees have 'donated' as much as 60 million rubles ($772,000), on the basis of previous press reports. It's not clear what the money was used for.
13/ Even where salaries have been increased, this has been more than offset by price rises due to inflation and sanctions, and by the burden of 'voluntary-compulsory contributions', as a worker at the UEC-Ufa Bridge-Building Production Association notes.
14/ "I think that salaries have become higher relatively over the last year, but in real terms they have become lower due to price increases.
15/ "And now the salary cap has been reached - it is now being held back by taking away some bonuses, changes not in favour of employees in pay regulations and other things."
16/ Likely due to the relatively low pay on offer, plants are reported to be suffering from a shortage of workers. "There is a large shortage of personnel, because in principle there were not enough of them, and when the war began, many quit," says a Strela worker.
17/ The worker shortage is affecting plants' ability to increase production. At the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (U-UAZ), a worker says that "we are simply not able to take on any additional volume, there are not enough people, engineers, testers."
18/ Another bottleneck is the supply of electronic components, which is now heavily restricted by sanctions. Strela is unable to increase production of missiles due to Russia's heavy dependence on Western chips.
19/ "In missile guidance systems, 90% of the components are Western. And these components are still in use, if Russia stops getting these components, it will not be able to make missiles quickly," a Strela employee notes.
20/ The military analyst @ian_matveev comments that Russia's defence industry is unable to switch to a wartime mode of operations because of systemic difficulties which have been worsened by the corrupt and self-serving nature of Putin's regime.
21/ "In order to increase production you need to build new facilities, new plants, but it is much more difficult and not a quick thing to do. Mishustin said eight months ago that two tank repair plants would be built. And since then nothing much is heard about them.
22/ "Even if the salaries of workers are increased, there is no place to take them. There are not many specialists in this field, or they are already working elsewhere and do not particularly want to leave.
23/ "The military industry as a whole, like all budgetary sectors, is very problematic and the problems are systemic, they cannot be solved quickly".

Mobilisation of industry, he says, is impossible due to the nature of the regime.
24/ "For that you need the state to work and the leaders to be able to lead. But in fact, in Putin's system, everyone in the field is just sitting there for the sake of high salaries and corruption." /end


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with ChrisO_wiki

ChrisO_wiki Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ChrisO_wiki

May 8
1/ Rampant corruption is reported to have rendered Russia's ballistic missile early warning system virtually useless. Scams by contractors are said to have led to unsuitable foreign-made components being used on a wide scale. ⬇️ Image
2/ The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel reports that a scandal is about to break over a component substitution scam that it says has crippled Russia's early warning radars. Such scams have been widespread in Russian military procurement, often with the collusion of corrupt officials.
3/ According to VChK-OGPU, "for several years, Putin has received numerous memos about the deplorable situation with the Russian early-warning system."
Read 14 tweets
May 5
1/ A Russian schoolteacher has been convicted for printing out #Wikipedia's article on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in what seems to be Russia's first criminal case associated with Wikipedia's coverage of the war. ⬇️ Image
2/ The SOTA Project reports that "Olga Lakhman, a teacher from Orsk, was sentenced to a fine of 30,000 rubles ($387) for politically short-sighted design of her college stand."
3/ "Lakhman was supposed to prepare materials for an information stand on a "special military operation" and without reading it she asked her colleague to print out the first text on the subject she found on the Internet: ...
Read 8 tweets
May 5
1/ Russian milblogger Dmitry Steshin, echoing Yegveny Prigozhin's recent rage-filled video, writes that morale in the Wagner Group is so bad that its fighters no longer meet up for celebrations because the topic always turns to losses and who is responsible:
2/ "Couldn't fully watch Prigozhin's video of the dead Wagnerites. Yesterday I met a militiaman I know, from the first wave. He says they have stopped gathering for the holidays.
3/ "Any get-together turns into a mourning for fallen comrades, and then slowly morphs into a scandal about "what are we doing / have done wrong. It's unbearable. My personal martyrology would not fit into a Telegram post submission form, so I just try not to think about it.
Read 5 tweets
May 3
1/ Russian soldiers have spoken about their experiences of being captured and later released by Ukraine, and what they plan to do next. Some are going back to the war, while others are disillusioned and trying to escape from their contracts. ⬇️ Dmitry KuznetsovViktor Masyagin
2/ Radio Free Europe has interviewed three men of very different backgrounds. They were among some 2,000 Russian soldiers exchanged in prisoner swaps with the Ukrainians. They include a long-serving mercenary, an alcoholic divorcee and a disillusioned volunteer.
3/ The mercenary, 43-year-old Viktor Masyagin, has been fighting in Ukraine since 2014. A veteran of the Chechen wars, he was among Igor "Strelkov" Girkin's men who briefly captured Sloviansk in 2014. Since then he has been fighting with the Veterans private military company.
Read 32 tweets
May 3
1/ The 'People of Baikal' Telegram channel has published an explanation of the background to its story on the wounded Russian soldier Yegor Lebedev, for which it used an AI-generated image to protect his identity.
2/ "This is the story of a volunteer from Ust-Ilimsk wounded in Ukraine who had his money stolen and was fired from the service without his consent. We noted a comment in the Telegram channel of Igor Kobzev, governor of the Irkutsk region.
3/ "A user under the nickname "Matros" ["Sailor"] wrote that he was lying in the same hospital as a wounded man who told him about his problems with money and documents.

People of Baikal's correspondent contacted "Matros," whose real name is Arkady.
Read 6 tweets
May 2
1/ Central Asian migrant workers recruited by Russian companies to dig trenches in occupied parts of Ukraine are complaining that they are not being paid, or in at least one case, are not even being allowed back into Russia. ⬇️ Image
2/ The Sistema investigative project reports that a Moscow-based construction company recruited migrant workers from Tajikistan to dig trenches and build dugouts in the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine in January 2023.
3/ The workers were to be paid a collective sum of 800,000 rubles ($11,400 at the January exchange rate) to dig a kilometer-long trench with dugouts. It was 15 km from the front line, so they were not concerned about being attacked. They lived in abandoned houses near Tokmak.
Read 17 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!