Ukraine Questions Global Automotive Giants’ Parts in Russian Military Vehicles


A Ukrainian governing administration formal launched a social media marketing campaign Monday towards some of the most significant automotive supply corporations in the entire world, stating that Ukrainian armed forces observed elements from ZF, Bosch, Danfoss and other world-wide suppliers on Russian military vehicles seized as Russia pummels its Western neighbor with rockets and artillery.

“The Ukrainian armed forces seized Russian armed forces motor vehicles and discovered that the Tigr and Pantsir missile procedure utilized Bosch, ZF Team, Danfoss and MANN+HUMMEL components,” Kostiantyn Koshelenko, Ukraine’s deputy minister of social policy, posted to LinkedIn and Twitter, alongside with a photograph of one particular of the autos with the textual content “Stop the Tiger Infantry Car” on it, with the O on cease exhibiting up as a blood stain.

In responses to his write-up, Koshelenko extra pics of distinct pieces from international firms on the Russian armed service autos.

In a several hours, the largest of the companies involved experienced responded, largely by saying that they haven’t equipped sections to the Russian army for several a long time and have slice off supplies of areas to civilian automobiles due to the fact Russia invaded its neighbor.

“Your publish is incredibly about to us and rightfully needs a apparent and decisive answer: ZF has put on hold all deliveries to Russia two weeks in the past. This consists of areas and spare parts. We have not shipped elements to Russia for automobiles that can also be employed by the armed forces because at least 1 August 2014,” ZF officials stated in response, noting also that the company’s charitable arm was supporting Ukrainian charities. “Your marketing campaign is directed at the improper concentrate on. ZF acts not only with strict adherence to international sanctions but, importantly, substantial ethical standards. We consequently kindly request you to revise your social media posts. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian individuals and all victims of this war.”

Thom Fladung, handling associate of crisis communications enterprise Hennes Communications, claims the war in Europe helps make it impossible for organizations to keep neutral.

“Russia’s assault on Ukraine is however yet another example–perhaps the remaining, definitive piece of evidence–of how the period of firms preserving neutrality in the experience of controversies or keeping social problems at arm’s duration is ended. We observed it with the social justice challenges that arose in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the Black Lives Issue movement, we noticed it with COVID and now we see it with this war.”

The old days of “no comment” to controversial troubles is around, so major firms should be engaged with multiple audiences.

“I hope Bosch and ZF communicated with those employees and any other critical stakeholders about the company place right before publishing it on LinkedIn,” Fladung provides.  “The employees, in my feeling, are the crucial audience right here. I want them to listen to specifically from company leadership, not read about it for the 1st time on social media.”

American regulations these kinds of as the Intercontinental Site visitors in Arms Restrictions (ITAR) and equivalent European rules make it very challenging for Western companies to ship parts for military tools to Russia and other countries. Having said that, governments can easily get off-the-shelf commodity sections from suppliers or distributors and deliver them to army contractors. A gas pump is a fuel pump, in most scenarios, so Bosch could have pieces on Russian missile launchers with out at any time dealing with the Russian governing administration.

Bosch officers designed that position in responding to Koshelenko.

“We take the allegations of the Ukrainian international minister really severely – they had been introduced to our consideration late [Sunday] night and we quickly released a extensive investigation,” Bosch officers reported in their response on LinkedIn. “The Ukrainian foreign ministry contacted us immediately about this and we ended up in a position to figure out that even though the ingredient in question was designed by Bosch, Bosch did not supply it to the car or truck company.

“Our motor and transmission components for large-duty automobiles have been applied all-around the world for quite a few decades in a huge wide variety of civilian programs this sort of as logistics, disaster management and crisis companies,” Bosch officers explained. “When it will come to giving Russian automotive consumers, it is a very clear contractual prerequisite in our community agreements that Bosch solutions may possibly be applied in civilian purposes only.”

The German automotive provides big additional that it is complying with sanctions that really should cut off civilian materials of Bosch parts to Russia. 


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