Resources & How They Are Used
Russia’s state arms dealer Rosoboronexport provides the Assad regime mortar shells and explosives, infantry vehicles, ammunition, sniper rifles, assault rifles, weapons maintenance, and other arms to carry out indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and other atrocities.
Maritime Shipments: A large number of cargo vessels have docked in Syria. Given evasive tactics and lack of disclosure, the exact quantity of arms shipments by sea is unclear. However, these are three shipments that attracted international condemnation.
– Chariot: In January 2012, the Russian-operated ship delivered nearly 60 tons of ammunition and explosives from St. Petersburg to the Syrian port of Tartous.
– Professor Katsman: In May 2012, Carried a cargo designated as spare parts and rotor blades, as well as other undisclosed cargo, from St. Petersburg to Russia in May 2012. The Syrian regime could use these parts to keep attack helicopters functional.
– Alaed: Attempted to carry repaired attack helicopters from Kaliningrad to Tartous in June 2012, before its U.K. based insurer retracted its insurance coverage.
Aerial Provisions: Russia has also attempted to transport military equipment to Syria through aerial corridor including:
– Communication Equipment: In October 2012, Russia reportedly attempted to ship communication equipment and ammunition to the Syrian Defense Ministry.
– Attack Helicopters: In November and December 2012, Russia attempted to ship repaired Mi-25 attack helicopters from the 150 Aircraft Repair Plant in Kaliningrad to Syria.
Diesel Fuel & Gasoil
Except for a brief pause in 2012, Russia continues to supply Assad multibillion of dollars worth of diesel fuel. Diesel powers all of the regime’s tanks and its entire ground infantry fleet, and is necessary to transport regime fighters and military supplies. Tanks and infantry vehicles are instrumental in perpetrating widespread and systematic indiscriminate acts on civilian areas, as well as other crimes against humanity.
Maritime Shipments: The exact quantity and number of shipments are unclear. These instances likely reflect only some of the provisions of diesel from Russia to Syria.
Cape Benat: In April 2012, the Cape Benat carried refined oil from Russia to Mahrukat, Syria’s petroleum storage and distribution company.
Ottomana and Barbarica: In December 2012, these two shipments traveled to Syria carrying about 42,000 combined tons of gasoil.
Syrian bank accounts in Russia allow Syria to pay for imports and receive funds for exports, while Russia also is printing banknotes for Syria and reportedly is considering or has provided loans to Syria. This financial assistance allows the regime to continue procuring resources, pay soldiers, and evade Western sanctions.
Banking: Documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal from 2012 discuss creating offshore bank accounts in Russia and Malaysia in Euro and Ruble denominated accounts to pay for imports and receive funds for export.
Currency: Flight manifests and public comments from officials show that between July and Sept. 2012, Goznak, a Russian firm that prints money from several countries, sent 240 tons of banknotes from Moscow to Damascus.
Funding: Russian officials have reportedly negotiated a comprehensive loan program with the Syrian regime in Feb 2012. Syrian officials considered asking Russia in November 2012 for a $2 billion loan.