Numerous civilian deaths, destroyed homes and lives of Ukrainians are the consequences of hundreds of “shahed” drones launched by Russians at civilian homes during the full-scale war against Ukraine. 

In the third year of the war and under dozens of sanctions lists, Russia still manages to obtain European materials, including for the manufacture of “shaheds”.

Slidstvo.Info journalists have learned how German companies are apparently not averse to working with Russian criminals.

This is reported in the investigation by Slidstvo.Info. The video has English subtitles.


Russian Shaheds are manufactured at enterprises in Alabuga, a free economic zone in Russia located in Tatarstan. It is there that Russian companies use Iranian technology for their own drone production.

Earlier this year, hackers hacked into the mail servers of the Iranian company IRGC Sahara Thunder, which hosted an array of data on the production of Shahed-136 attack drones for Russia. It also contained information about the Alabuga.  

There have been several leaks from Alabuga. Earlier, the Washington Post wrote that Alabuga plans to produce 6,000 drones by the summer of 2025. And according to the Wall Street Journal, at the end of April this year, the plant was ahead of schedule, having delivered 4,500 drones to the Russian army. 

The leak also revealed that the Russians used coded names in their correspondence and other documents: drones were called “motor boats” and explosives were called “bumpers”. And the Shahed-136 UAV, which is labelled as the Geranium-2 in Russia, is referred to in the documents as the Dolphin 632 motorboat.

На чорному фоні червоний макет Герань-2 (шахеди)The documents openly show drones on some slides, although they also refer to “motor boats”.

На фото технічні характеристики "шахеда"

The journalists of Slidstvo.Info have also seen the documents of this leak. In addition to real drone schematics, it contains a presentation entitled “Boat production project”. It shows how much material is needed to make each product. 

It also lists potential suppliers of these materials. The information on the slides refers to April 2023 at the latest. 

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The Russian company Composite Izdelia LLC is listed in the presentation as a supplier of epoxy binders. 

These are composite materials, which, due to their light weight, strength and smooth surface, are an ideal material for the manufacture of many parts in the aircraft industry. 

“What are composites? For most men, it’s known as epoxy, or epoxy resin, a two-component material that is used in the production of any aircraft,” explains Pavlo Kashchuk, a volunteer and founder of the Combat-UA volunteer organisation and the project.

“In fact, it is a fabric, fibreglass or some other material, just like carbon, which is soaked in glue, so to speak. This glue is a two-component composite. Roughly speaking, epoxy resin. In fact, epoxy is the basis of the structural strength,” explains Pavlo Kashchuk.


Slidstvo.Info decided to check the customs data of the companies declared as suppliers of components for the Shahed. In most cases, the main foreign partners of these companies are firms from China, South Korea and Turkey. But there are also several companies from Germany. 

In particular, according to customs data, Composite Izdelia LLC purchases epoxy resin from two German companies — R&G Faserverbundwerkstoffe and Goettle Advanced Products Gmbh & Co.Kg

They supplied epoxy to Russia at the peak of the war — in 2022 and 2023. 

It can be assumed that the companies were unaware of Composite Izdeliya’s cooperation with Alabuga for various reasons. Either they did not see the leak, or they were not informed about it, or they did not ask. 

However, the companies could have checked the Russian counterparty and seen the connection to the Russian military-industrial complex. 

“When you ask a European business: “Yes, but what did you do to see this?” Someone might say, “Well, we have a sanctions check. Our lawyers ran our client through the sanctions database and saw that the company was not under sanctions, and that was the end of the check.” In other words, the business does not take into account the fact that it is no longer enough to simply check the sanctions database.  The only participant in this whole sanctions story who is directly involved in these supplies is checking whether or not to sign the contract,” explains Roman Steblivskyi, Head of Sanctions at Trap Aggressor.

Composite Izdelia LLC is owned by the Khlebnikov family — brothers Nikolai and Yegor. Until recently, their father Volodymyr was also among the company’s co-founders.

The company itself began its operations as part of the Russian state holding company Composite, which was part of the Rosnano structure.

Rosnano works with Russian “nanotechnology” and is headed by the former deputy chairman of the military-industrial commission, Sergei Kulikov

Khlebnikov Sr., until recently one of the co-owners of Composite Izdelia, worked for a long time at Rosenergoatom, and in the mid-2000s headed the Russian energy company OJSC OGK-1.

Since the early 2010s, he has worked as deputy director and then CEO of HC Composite, one of whose projects was the Alabuga-Fibre composite materials plant in the Alabuga Technology Park. 

Alabuga-Fibre is now part of Rosatom‘s subsidiary Umatex. Umatex is under sanctions from the US, UK and Ukraine

Back in 2013, Khlebnikov stated that the holding’s main work was commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Defence. 

According to Russian registers, Vladimir Khlebnikov remains the CEO of Composite. And his children, Yegor and Nikolay, are the beneficiaries of Composite Products LLC, which seems to be trading with the Germans.

That is, the company that now supplies epoxy resin to Russian drone manufacturers was part of a holding company that has always worked closely with the Russian military-industrial complex.

“The fact that we know that a Russian company has traded, supplied, and serviced the Russian military-industrial complex in the past means that these ties already exist. And that this business could potentially continue as of today. And realising that the needs of the military-industrial complex in Russia are only growing, and the demand for such products is only increasing, because Russia continues to wage war, such ties must necessarily be a “red flag,” explains Roman Steblivskyi. 


If we take a closer look at German companies, Goettle Advanced Products Gmbh & Co.Kg. trades almost exclusively with Russia, except for a few deliveries, and throughout the past year it supplied products to the Russian company Composite Izdeliya.

Its director is Jürgen Gottl. He is a local deputy of the political party Freie Wähler Königsbrunn, a member of the local building committee, the association of sewage water, entertainment and sports facilities, and is a member of the traffic monitoring commission. 

The Freie Wähler Königsbrunn party always mentions that it is very supportive of the Ukrainian people, but its statements about Ukraine are controversial. 

Here is what Peter Wieda, the chairman of the BVB/Free Wähler parliamentary group at the time, had to say about the sanctions in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung

“The political party FREIEN WÄHLER considers some of the sanctions against Russia questionable in view of the energy crisis. Certain sanctions should be reconsidered if they are harmful to us,” said Peter Wieda. 

In May of this year, the following thoughts were expressed on the FREIEN WÄHLER website: “For FREIEN WÄHLER, a ceasefire would be the first and most important step on the road to peace.” 

“History has taught us that very often lasting peace begins with a ceasefire. This opportunity should not go unused. The bloodshed in Ukraine must stop immediately,” explains Thomas Weidinger, Chairman of FREIEN WÄHLER Saxony.

Following up on the idea of a ceasefire, FREIEN WÄHLER considers Ukraine’s desire to win this war “naive”. 

FREIEN WÄHLER does not share the fears that Russia will be able to redeploy and replenish its ammunition stocks in the event of a ceasefire. 

“Ukraine can also use the peaceful period to expand its defensive positions and give its soldiers a rest. Therefore, all those who reject a possible ceasefire should explain to people how else this war can be ended. The desire to completely expel Russia from Ukraine may seem understandable, but it is simply naive,” concludes Weidinger.


While the “naive” Ukrainians are trying to stop the Russian army on their own, the less naive Germans are using this time to their advantage. 

In 2023, another German company, R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe, apparently supplied almost 8,500 kg of epoxy binder worth about $80,000. It can be used to make 337 drones, as one drone, according to the Alabuga leak, requires 25 kilograms of this substance. Yes, this is still much less than the amount supplied by the German politician’s company. But R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe was notable for something else.

During the period when this German company was supplying epoxy to Russia, it supplied the same epoxy to Ukrainian drone manufacturers. In other words, while the Germans are cooperating with Russian companies that support the Russian army, they are also cooperating with Ukrainian businesses that suffer from the joint actions of Russian companies and their military.

After long attempts by Slidstvo.Info to contact both German companies by mail and phone, R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe replied that it was the first time they had ever seen such a Russian company. 

“The Russian company Composite Izdeliya LLC is completely unknown to us. We have no business relations with them. We have not supplied them with any resins or other products. Therefore, your list of questions is completely unfounded. We have business contacts in Ukraine, we buy from Ukraine, and we supply products to various customers. We are unable to provide more detailed information, partly for data protection reasons and partly due to confidentiality agreements,” R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe replied.

The journalists checked their data in several customs databases and sources to make sure there was no mistake. They sent the screenshots to the German manufacturer. R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe replied that they did not cooperate with Russian companies anyway and respect the embargo against Russia.  

At the same time, the German company’s products can be seen at Russian distributors, and the customs data relied on by Slidstvo.Info journalists indicate that they were supplied to Russia.

While active correspondence with R$G Faserverbundwerkstoffe continued, another company, Goettle Advanced Products Gmbh & Co.Kg., initially promised to respond to the journalists’ request, but has not yet done so, and the company’s representatives do not answer phone calls. 

The journalists also were unable to get a comment from the Russians.

It is important to say that the products supplied by the Germans are not yet sanctioned, and everyone is using it. Epoxy resin can be used in both civilian and military production. Just like most other products.  

But if the Russian company with which the contract is being signed is working or has worked with the military, it may still be acting in the interests of the Russian military-industrial complex.

After all, there is no certainty that it will not supply these products, for example, to Alabuga or other arms manufacturers. 

“Everyone understands this logic: there is a company that is a supplier to a Russian arms manufacturer. It is obvious to everyone that this company should not have access to the European market and receive European goods. Any ties of European businesses should be limited to such a company. This logic remains and can be appealed to when we show that the end users – some military, conventionally in Russia — still have access to the European market or European products,” explains Roman Steblivskyi.

“How important is it that this component comes from the West? Let’s just say that I think Russia has its own versions of epoxy resin. But if they start using their own product, then these ‘Shaheds’ will either have their wings fall off or they will not be able to take off because they are too heavy. So, yes, this is a very important component that could really, if not eliminate the Shahed, at least slow down its production. If it disappeared from the nomenclature that Russia receives from the West,” says Pavlo Kashchuk.  

This is just one story that shows how Russian companies continue to receive European goods for the manufacture of weapons of destruction without any obstacles. 

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