Journalist: Despite sanctions, Ukraine’s Antonov aircraft manufacturer continues to cooperate with Russia

The Ukrainian state enterprise Antonov allegedly intends to continue servicing the Russian cargo transportation airline Volga-Dnepr, one of several companies that fulfill orders of the Russian Defense Ministry.

Journalist Roman Bochkala referred to his own unnamed source when making this claim on Facebook. According to him, Antonov's employees are flying for two months to Ulyanovsk, where the headquarters of the Volga-Dnepr is located in order to extend the life of the Russian An-124 Ruslan.

"They are the base of the fleet of the enemy’s company Volga-Dnepr. Without our Ruslans, Volga-Dnepr would simply halt its operation. Antonov is doing this despite the fact that in September of 2016 they announced that by the end of the year, cooperation with Volga-Dnepr would be stopped. Here is how they stopped it... According to my source, while the war raged, experts of Antonov traveled to Russia at least twice with similar goals," the journalist writes.

Bochkala’s source claims that "Russians are paying substantial money" for servicing the aircraft.

"I have a question. Does the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) know about these trips? Do they violate sanctions? Is it possible to exclude attempts to recruit Ukrainian aircraft designers, whose main capital is brains, by FSB officers? Is it possible during the war with Russia to fly to Russia to prolong the life of Russian aircraft?! Yes, those planes are not military. However, not a single military campaign can do without transport," Bochkala wrote.

He is preparing an official request to confirm or deny this information.

  Antonov, Ukraine, Russia, An-124 Ruslan, Sanctions on Russia