February 24 tore the fabric of our daily lives apart. The unprovoked, aggressive war waged by Russian Federation against Ukraine turned thousands of men and women into soldiers, territorial defense fighters, or volunteers; millions have suffered bombings and air raids and fled the country, saving their lives. The war is total, and its effects are total for everybody. I am no exception.
The escalated aggression of an eight-year war drove me to join the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. The battle is total, I repeat, and my pre-war competencies were required in the other dimensions of anti-Russian resistance, so I have joined a group of Ukrainian volunteers as an analyst. These good people aim to persuade foreign businesses to cut connections with Russia in general and Putin or the Kremlin specifically.
One should pick the little feasible niche and do the job well. Thus, the group focuses on small and middle-range businesses whose products are essential to Russia’s military and industrial complex or assist Putin in maintaining or tightening the grip over the Russian ruling machine.
Our initial initiatives were more or less successful for a long time, so we have been delighted with the job and kept on moving forward. The majority of companies need nothing but a polite reminder that continued cooperation with Russia makes one an accomplice to the war crimes committed by the Moscow regime and contributes to its preservation. Diplomatically phrased, of course, including the information on the potential primary and secondary sanctions to be imposed by the U.S. and the EU unless they halt any activities in Russia. You see, when you smell the money, you can hardly sniff the metallic scent of blood.
However, for some companies, even pretending to have cut all ties with Russia seems unnecessary and excessive action, leaving behind any moral considerations or corporate social responsibility.
A striking example of this is Danieli, an international Italian-based company that manufactures a lot of equipment for the metallurgical industry and has branches in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk, and a massive and sophisticated Danieli Volga facility in Dzerzhinsk.
Danieli provides its services to the Viksun Metallurgical Plant, which manufactures pipes for Nord Stream II, and the Kamensk-Uralsky Metallurgical Works, which produces specific parts for Russian aircraft and is owned by a Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg. Let me remind you, he is under sanctions. It is not Danieli's only client with a sanctioned owner: Alexei Mordashov, Severstal's owner, is another.
According to Danieli Volga's website, the notorious "Magnitka" — Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant — is the Italian company's client. Its leadership is holding joint actions with the Union of Volunteers of Donbas – an organization of Russian mercenaries close to Wagner Group, which Russia has used in the war with Ukraine since 2014. Now it is used for covert mobilization in the Russian army.
I do recognize your skepticism – the information above is still not convincing for you. How would you take this: On April 13, the limited company "Corporatsiya "Krasnyi Oktyabr" in an official press release, expressed its gratitude to Danieli for the continued cooperation. Moreover, in the nearest future, "Krasnyi Oktyabr" will receive another machine tool from Danieli.
Limited company "Corporatsiya "Krasnyi Oktyabr’" is one of the largest Russian special steel producers. For instance, it manufactures pressure vessels for nuclear reactors of Russian submarines and protection for the cutting-edge T-14 "Armata" Russian tanks.
Let me repeat. Danieli confirmed the continuation of relations with a company involved in the production of tanks and submarines and did that in the background of the Bucha massacre and siege of Mariupol.
Danieli is a substantial, though not the well-known, company that works closely with the Putin regime, and most critical, in areas that are crucial to Putin, saving his power and facilitating the achievement of his goals, far from being benign. Such factors make Danieli an eligible candidate for our volunteer group.
So, we created a website explaining Danieli's activities in Russia and their implications, mainly how the corporation assists Putin in waging war and committing crimes against humanity on Ukrainian soil. The site is pretty easy to navigate, and the one active button allows you to tweet instantly. We did expect a kind of denial or lip service for the sake of the appearance, but the backfire was even worse.
In response to the site's appearance, Danieli accused us of a crime by hiring cybersecurity experts IntSights, a Rapid7 company from the United States. It is not an exaggeration. Here is a quote from a letter received by the hoster: «this site directly threatens our client by using their name and identifiers to steal sensitive information from their customers. It operates illegally, and it is active in aiding criminals in their fraudulent activities.»
According to the quotation above, we threaten the IntSight\Rapid7 client with stealing his sensitive personal information. I wonder which one? That Vekselberg and Mordashov, sanctioned oligarchs and Putin's allies, are the partners of a respectable Italian company? Of course, this is sensitive information for Danieli. As well as their contribution to the strengthening of the Russian nuclear triad. We jumped to our conclusion based on open-source information available to everybody with a laptop and Internet access; there is no need to steal it. The thing is, it's little known but should be widely known.
People assisting Putin in consolidating his regime, cooperating with criminal oligarchs under international sanctions, accuse volunteers of trying to defend their country in all possible means. It is more than a backfire or vengeance; this is the apex of cynicism and pure shame.
IntSights, a Rapid7 company could not help but understand the purpose for which we created our site. And they could not help but see that this could not be an attempt to steal information from their customers. But because of their unjustified accusations, Amazon has blocked our resources. But this is not the end of our war, just a tactical retreat.
Good people will not stop. We will appeal the blocking decision because IntSights, a Rapid7 company is lying.
Danieli is helping Putin and his oligarchs re-equip an army that kills Ukrainians. On the instructions of Putin's cronies, the corporation IntSights, a Rapid7 company labels Ukrainian citizens who are actively defending themselves against the Russian atrocities as criminals. They refer to the safeguarding procedure as attempts "to steal sensitive information."
The world should renounce all this "Putin’s war" nonsense. It is not just about Putin or Kremlin’s camaraderie with Russian tycoons. It is about Putin’s friends worldwide, including Europe and the U.S. They are assisting him in preserving power and killing innocents in Ukraine. They are Putin’s saviors covered in the blood of Ukrainians.
It is not surprising that the European company, a partner of Vekselberg and Mordashov, resorted to hypocrisy and lies. But hypocrisy and lies are part of the worldview that seeks victory over Ukraine in this war. So, we will resist.
We must use the light of truth, as we did in the case of SAP Corporation, which announced its withdrawal from the Russian market for appearance’s sake. Because the light of civil pressure and publicity will defeat all the hypocrisy and lies, and the truth will prevail. As we will too.
All good-willing people must unequivocally articulate the cooperation with Putin’s regime, and contribution, even symbolic, to the mass killings of Ukrainians is beyond justification.
If we do not stop him right now, Danieli will likely receive huge orders. For the nuclear submarines, if you know what I mean.