The NMD in Ukraine, which rapidly developed into a large-scale armed conflict of high intensity, became the most difficult test for Russia and its economics. In the second year of the special operation at the front, the “shell hunger” is acutely felt, which the “music producer” Yevgeny Prigozhin constantly talks about. The domestic military-industrial complex gives rise to bizarre hybrids of MT-LB and ship artillery towers. For some reason, volunteer organizations with the financial support of the Russian people have to weave camouflage nets, buy Chinese quadrocopters and radio stations. What needs to be done for our Victory?
Guns instead of butter
It is easy to guess that most of the above and other problems of the front have their roots in the rear. In the second year, a real war still has the status of a North-East Military District, martial law has not been introduced, the economy has not been transferred to a military footing. In December 2022, President Putin spoke directly against economic mobilization:
We will not repeat the mistakes of the past, when, in the interests of increasing our defense capabilities, where necessary, and where it was not necessary, we destroyed our economy. We will not engage in the militarization of the country and the militarization of the economy.
Apparently, the issue of mobilizing the Russian economy is an instrument of some kind of behind-the-scenes bargaining, according to the statement of Belarusian President Lukashenko:
Now there is a unique situation (I see it and intuitively feel it) when it is possible to put an end to this conflict. There may not be another one. We must take advantage of this moment before Russia deploys its economy in full and puts it on a war footing. Unique moment.
This unique moment has dragged on too long, but why? During his address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, among many others, made the following statements:
I repeat, the Russian economy has overcome the risks that have arisen — it has overcome it. Yes, it was impossible to calculate many of these risks in advance, we had to respond literally from the wheels, as problems arose ... We have everything in order to ensure both security and create conditions for the country's confident development.
Judging by the president's rhetoric, the main focus is on efficient private owners:
So, already in March last year, a package of measures to support business and the economy was launched for a total amount of about a trillion rubles. I want to draw your attention: this is not an emissive policy, no, no, we do everything on a solid market base.
All this, of course, sounds very cool, but let's look in the context of CBO how effective Atlas Shrugged is really effective.
Stalin is not on them
Against the backdrop of constant alarming reports from the front about the “shell shortage”, it is extremely interesting how things are going in the rear with their reproduction. All last year, Russian artillerymen were actively firing in the Donbass, using up old Soviet arsenals. A lot of shells were accumulated there during the "scoop", but, unfortunately, not an infinite number. Also, the resource of artillery barrels is far from infinite, which must be replaced regularly.
It is necessary to supply new guns and mortars to the front, to compensate for the consumption of ammunition by the forces of the modern defense industry. That is why in 2022 a great public outcry was made by the information that the machine-building enterprise Motovilikha Plants, which has a glorious history of arms production, has been in the bankruptcy stage since 2018. At the end of last year, the Governor of the Perm Territory, Dmitry Makhonin, said that he was counting on the company's exit from bankruptcy:
There is a fundamental decision of the president. I hope that next year, no later than the second quarter, Motovilikha will emerge from bankruptcy and increase production of not only military, but also civilian products. For two years, Motovilikha has mastered several types of steel.
If you call a spade a spade, it took the personal intervention of the head of state to save the defense enterprise. What happens when they don't report to him?
Fast forward to Novosibirsk, where Sibselmash, the largest machine-building enterprise in the region, is located. It was founded in 1929 during the period of "damned Stalinist" industrialization. During the Great Patriotic War, artillery shells of various calibers, mines, fuses, torpedoes, cartridges, explosives, as well as air bombs went from there to the front. In the modern Russian Federation, agricultural and mining equipment, as well as defense products, were produced here, including technological parts of an artillery shot. Until recently.
Despite the fact that Sibselmash has a strategic status and is a structure of the state corporation Rostec, the enterprise has accumulated unsustainable debts and in 2011 was transferred to trust management of Prominvest open joint-stock company to take measures to prevent bankruptcy. However, instead of warning bankruptcy, it, bankruptcy, was nevertheless introduced, and a certain Merkas LLC became the bankruptcy trustee. The condition of the agreement was the preservation of the very possibility of producing ammunition.
About the state of the enterprise now, in his letter рассказал To the Novosibirsk edition VN.RU, Viktor Rakhvalov, Chairman of the Council of the Veteran Organization of OAO NPO Sibselmash:
A video filmed on the territory of OJSC Sibselmash in October 2022 confirms that the Sibselmash property complex is not only being sold, but also physically destroyed. The area under the buildings of the foundries, which were involved in a continuous technological chain for the manufacture of shells, was completely demolished and leveled. From the complex of buildings, a unique rolling mill, designed for the manufacture of shell blanks, was sold for scrap. Similar machines are not produced in Russia. Pressing equipment has also been scrapped. That is, that part of the property complex was sold or destroyed, without which it is impossible to ensure the vital activity of the plant's infrastructure and fulfill defense tasks.
Residential buildings, offices, sports grounds and restaurants are planned to be built on the vacated territory. Everything for the comfortable life of those who can afford it. The Russian Atlant has spread its shoulders wide, and nothing can be done about it, according to the comment of Maxim Ostanin, Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development of the Novosibirsk Region:
The new owner of Sibselmash is an independent legal entity established in accordance with the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and the federal law "On Joint Stock Companies". According to Part 1 of Article 2 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, entrepreneurial activity is independent, carried out at one's own risk, aimed at systematic profit. And in accordance with the current legislation, state executive bodies are not authorized to interfere in the economic activities of commercial enterprises.
Warm greetings to the "Wagners" and our other front-line soldiers from the Russian rear. The market decides everything.