Excerpt Chapter II
Ukrinmash is a state-owned, Ukrainian arms exporter and broker, and one of the subsidiaries of Ukrspecexport. Between 2010 and 2013, Ukrinmash was the sole exporter of dual-use goods, arms, and ammunition as well as an armored Mercedes Benz to the Armenian state-backed arms broker “Properties Investments”, a Closed Joint-Stock Company that shares a false address with DG Arms. Other major Ukrinamsh export markets for arms, spare parts and ammunition are China, Peru, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kirgizstan, Belorusia and Rwanda.
In the spring of 2011, Ukrinmash sold over 50 tons of spare parts for heavy military equipment as well as 4,000 rifles to the Syrian government. In 2013, a UN group of experts reported that Ukrinmash was involved with a 2011 violation of the arms embargo on Libya, together with the Armenian broker DG Arms and the Albanian state-owned arms exporter MEICO. Earlier in the year Ukrinmash provided military repair services to the Libyan government. In 2012 and 2013, Ukrinmash made a substantial delivery of 14 and 7mm ammunition to Nakhchivan military base in Azerbaijan for Azerbaijan’s broker “Robot”, a firm owned by the presidential family. Ukrinmash shares an office with Ukrspetsexport and Ukroboronprom on Degtyarivskaya Boulevard 36 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ukrainian State Service of Export Control is the sole government agency responsible for controlling and monitoring all imports and exports of arms and dual-use goods in the country. While the agency is tasked with regulating these activities, it has no legal obligation to report on its activities to the public, or to release accurate information on the total amount of exports. The current SSEC is the successor of the Government Commission on Export Control (GCEC) and the Technical Expert Committee, both formed in 1993 to deal with exports of dangerous goods. One of the members of the GCEC was the Minister of the Military-Industrial Complex Valery Maleev, who later became General Director of Ukrspetsexport. Maleev was still director of Ukrspetsexport in 2002, when
he died in a controversial car accident shortly after proposing to radically restructure the Ukrainian arms export market. Over the years the SSEC has been embroiled in several scandals regarding the export of arms to regions like Sudan and Iran. In all such cases the SSEC has claimed it was not aware of the situation and blamed smugglers, or, in cases of re-exporting, the end-user. The SSEC is ran by Vladimir Demekhin, a career military officer who went into private business after the fall of the Soviet Union, before transitioning to politics in the 2000s.
Michael “Mick” Ranger is a 66 year old British arms broker. For several decades he has operated in the Middle East and Asia under the name of Defence Industries in Europe. In 2010, using several shell companies and intermediary identities Ranger attempted to broker a deal to deliver North Korean MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems) and American Beretta guns to Azerbaijan. Ranger was arrested and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for intent to knowingly evade an embargo.
In the past, Ranger has been a guest of honor while visiting Azerbaijan to negotiate multiple arms deals. There he befriended Lt. General Vahid Aliyev, Special Assistant to the President for Defense, Kemalladdin Heydarov, the Minister of Emergency Situations, and Ceyhun Zrayev, Minister of Defense and former director of special forces. While in Azerbaijan, Ranger stayed at the presidential guest-house and was transported around the city by a presidential apparatus driver.
Ranger has also worked in Ukraine, with a subsidiary of Ukrspetsexport, Ukrinmash, brokering gun and ammunition shipments to the United States. Ranger claims to be the largest broker between Ukrinmash and United States. He has continued managing his business while incarcerated, with the assistance of his partner Tony Slatter and his common law wife, Lien Huynh.
Azerbaijan’s defense budget for 2013 was announced to be USD 3.7 billion, an expenditure deliberately designed to dwarf the Armenian state budget. During a military parade on June 26, Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan has purchased over 100 combat and transport helicopters, dozens of combat aircraft, and some
of the most sophisticated anti-aircraft systems. Azerbaijan’s main suppliers include Ukraine, Belorussia, Israel, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and Russia. Russia, which officials close to the president consider to be Azerbaijan’s premier enemy, has recently signed and USD 1 Billion arms deal with Azerbaijan.
In July 2013, at least 30 new Oshkosh M-ATV had been sighted leaving the airport in Baku.