‘Patriotically-minded’ Russian community complains that the authorities of Crimea are selling Evpatiria Aviation Repair Plant, Feodosiya Marine Engineering Plant, and work-shop Krymproektrestavratsiya only for 200 mln. roubles. The sell-out of the defense enterprises of Feodosiya and Evpatoria indicates that there is no money in Russia for the development of the naval aviation and facilities maintaining the engines of the small vessels and speed-boats in Crimea.
Since 2010, Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant had degraded within the policy of Viktor Yanukovich and Minister of Defense Pavel Lebedev who destroyed the defense potential of Ukraine before the upcoming aggression of Russia. That was when the plant was recognized a strategically important facility of the national security of Ukraine. The facilities of Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant allowed it to gain the income through the repair and maintenance of such planes as Be-12, Yak-42, Yak-38U, Su-25, An-24, An-26, An-32 as well as aerodynamic propellers AV-68D and AV-68I. Those are quite wide-spread equipment both in Ukraine and abroad.
In 2016 occupied Crimea was visited by a group of high-ranked officers of the FSB of the Russian Federation and representatives of the administration of the President of the Russian Federation. They were interested in Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant and Evpatoria Airport’s manufacturing and breaking-in the new superlight low-consumption engines and aerodynamic propellers for the Russian aircraft industry. In spite of the fact, that Chief of Crimea Sergey Aksenov was presented with a fait accompli to make him completely support the project, the process would not be success. It was partly because it did not contain the options of cheap money disbursement.
Finally, Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant was conceded by the occupants into the disposal of the United Aircraft Construction Company headed by Rostekh Chemezov. They reported the ambitious restoration plans on the renovation of the military planes-amphibias Be-12 as well as the other equipment for the needs of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. The appointment of Dmitri Ovsiannikov, Sergey Chemezov’s protégé, contributed to those processed. That happened in Sevastopol, a city that is basic for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation.
For the renewal of the programme on manufacturing and renovating the Russian military aircraft right in Crimea, the Russians, at will, handed over several orders from the Russian plants to Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant. Besides, due to the confidentiality of the right funds distribution within the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation and Rostekh, the mentioned-above orders were not done and processed through the official purchases . So, the completion of the first repair of the low-flying attack aircraft of the RF’s military-space forces Su-25, widely advertised by the Russian mass media in Evpatoria, in 2019, turned out to be a common modernization of the ‘ikhtamnet’ as well as an one-time action of a commercial and propaganda significance.
Therefore, the sale of Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant for a song, in the package, together with the other two enterprises at the end of 2020, indicates that the Russian Federation refused from the renovation of the defense facilities in Crimea due to the deep crisis and funds exhaustion.
The sale of Evpatoria Aviation Repair Plant and Feodosiya Marine Engineering Plant is a sort of classical response ‘No money but you take care!’ said by Russian minister Mr. Mishustin and Chief of Crimea Mr. Aksenov to the border-line divisions of the FSB of the Russian Federation.
In the specialized magazine Oborona as of October 2020, the Russian themselves complain that the branch of the construction of the diesel engines that are necessary for the military ships has been destructed in the country . The Russian authors complain that the enterprises were destructed, and the attempt to set the French and Finnish prototypes licensed production going failed. They also report they will arrange the supplies of the Finnish and Chinese engines for the Russian Federation.
What is the most important is the Russians highlight the significance of just the Russian diesel engines M500 for the small ships and speed boats of the Border Guard of the RF’s FSB , i.e. the boats that blocked the movement of the Ukrainian vessels in Kerch Strait in 2018. Feodosiya Marine Engineering Plant was sold for a song. That indicates it is the diesel engines that have become a scarcity for the Russian boats since then. After all, it is Feodosiya where the diesel engines M500 were served and repaired .
That can be regarded as a manufacturing capitulation of the Russian Federation that, first of all, gave in to the Chinese partners. The Russians have winded back their manufacturing and service facilities maintaining the vessel diesel engines and replaced them with the Chinese prototypes. That shows that the Russian border-line vessels will be dependent on China.
The sale of the work-shop KRYMPROEKTRESTAVRATSIYA in one package with Feodosiya and Evpatoria defense enterprises is becoming an issue of a specific symbolism. Despite becoming well-known for the design of several second-best renovation projects, the enterprise even did not possess its own real-estate. Instead, it leased the premises and become involved in the secondary rent-seeking behavior . It is likely that the enterprise activity is not longer crucial in the circumstances of the cardinal reduction of the RF’s financing the occupation.
Evgeniy Gaivoronsky. Yalta-Kyiv.