The Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project last month revealed that Russian oligarch Mr Roman Abramovich’s Evraz group of companies supplied Russia’s National Guard and provided steel and explosives products to weapons manufacturers that supply the Russian military, contrary to the company’s denials of doing business with the country’s armed forces. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project said “In fact contracts from Russia’s public procurement website, verified via an independent database of company contracts, show that Evraz’s Russian subsidiaries have directly and indirectly supplied the military for more than a decade. The contracts show they have supplied the National Guard as well as factories that supply the military and produce explosives and tanks. For example, Evraz ZSMK, received over USD 2.8 million between 2015 and 2018 to deliver toluene, an oil and coal product that is used in explosives, from a state-owned factory that produces ammunition and industrial explosives. In 2018, Evraz NTMK provided USD 1.4 million worth of steel to Uralvagonzavod, a Soviet-era factory that makes battle tanks and other transport machinery like freight train cars. In 2016 and 2017, the Evraz subsidiary also supplied the factory with USD 227,000 worth of vanadium slag, which is used to strengthen steel in the manufacture of weapons.”Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, western governments moved to sanction Russian oligarchs benefitting from their relationships with President Mr Vladimir Putin. Among the most recognizable of these blacklisted businessmen is Mr Roman Abramovich, the fashion-conscious billionaire who became a household name in Europe after he purchased Chelsea Football Club in 2003. The UK sanctioned Abramovich in March, citing his long-standing relationship with Mr Putin and speculating that one of his companies, the steelmaker Evraz, may have supplied steel to the Russian military that could have been used to produce tanks. The UK-registered company fired back, denying that its contracts with the Russian government could be linked to weapons in any way. A spokesperson for Evraz denied that the company had supplied the Russian military by saying “Evraz in Russia supplies products to infrastructure and construction projects for civilian use only.”Meanwhile, Mr Abramovich, who once lived in London, has rushed to reorganize his holdings in response to the UK sanctions, including selling Chelsea Football Club to a US billionaire. The London Stock Exchange suspended trading of Evraz shares in March, despite the company insisting that Mr Abramovich’s 28.64% holding didn’t translate to him having effective control. A week before Russia invaded Ukraine, Abramovich transferred the controlling stake in the steelmaking giant to himself, which he previously held through British Virgin Islands-based company Greenleas International Holdings Ltd, in which Mr Abramovich is the largest shareholder and ultimate beneficial owner.The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project is a global network of investigative journalists with staff on six continents. It was founded in 2006 and specializes in organized crime and corruption. It publishes its stories through local media and in English and Russian through its website.