Ukraine creates a secret network of underground factories to revive its arms industry

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky spearheads the near-total reconstruction and repurposing of the country’s defence industry for ambition beyond self-reliance. This move seeks to establish Ukraine as a formidable arms and ammunition production hub for the West, says El Mundo’s journalist Alberto Rojas.

Rojas posits that various conflicts are being waged in Ukraine. One, he dubs 'the war of the past,' is characterised by daily artillery fire and trench-to-trench combat reminiscent of the 1916 Battle of Verdun during World War I—known for its gruesome attrition. In contrast, there's the contemporary 'war of the present,' dominated by drones ruling the skies and seas. Alongside these, unseen battles for the future are progressing.

The Spanish journalist reports that Ukraine is building a network of disguised, covert underground factories, orchestrated by the Minister for Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kubrakov. Sources indicate that Ukraine has tripled production since 2023, rolling out various drones, including maritime and land-based, as well as Kozak armoured personnel carriers, Neptune missiles, and Stugna anti-tank systems.

El Mundo's insider claims, "Last year, we prioritised launching aerial drones to strike behind Russian lines, which has proven successful. The Magura marine drone sank five Russian ships, confining their fleet to port. This year we focus on perfecting land drones, with both rescue and combat models in development, undergoing trials at the front."

According to one Ukrainian expert, the West was ill-prepared for a conflict of such scale, grappling with extensive loss and munition demands. "All arsenals are being depleted, with more artillery shells fired than all allies can collectively produce. We estimate the West immediately needs seven million rounds. We're already producing Soviet-calibre ammunition for our artillery and soon plan to export NATO-caliber ammunition," the expert told El Mundo, adding that while Ukraine lacks funding and contracts, Europe lacks factories. "We have the expertise and resources to produce what they want faster than any other European plant."

Projects like "FrankenRamstein” are among the successful developments. Rojas explains although Ukraine had launchers of one type lacking compatible missiles and an excess of another type of missiles without launchers, the innovative Ukrainians married the two, thereby coining the project name.

While Ukraine has built an industry from scratch and adapted Western arms to Soviet systems using methods thought improbable, concealing these factories from Russian intelligence remains a pressing concern, all the while rigorously vetting personnel for infiltrators, with detected betrayals already.

Recalling a May 2 announcement by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's intelligence division spokesperson Andriy Yusov, Ukraine continues to produce, repair, and refine vast arsenals and air defence systems. Additionally, an April 18 report from the US Institute for the Study of War noted Kyiv’s capability to strike desired targets in Russian territory using indigenous weaponry.

  War in Ukraine, Zelensky