Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was shocked to learn that, in the last ten years, the state-owned Malyshev Factory has produced only one tank for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“I am shocked by the statistics. The factory director told us that since 2009, we have built one tank, one tank for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But the statistics say that in the Soviet period it was 900 tanks per year,” the Ukrainian leader said while in Kharkiv for a session on issues in the state-owned defense conglomerate, UkrOboronProm, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
Zelensky pointed out that some of the companies in the concern owe up to four years of salaries. However, he noted that the level of pay is extremely low, while the working conditions leave much to be desired. The president mentioned that, in winter, employees are sometimes made to work in facilities below freezing point.
The head of state said that the prime minister should actively deal with the concern’s problems and get law enforcement involved.
“So that we can understand who our client is, for what, how many tanks, why we are making for someone, for Thailand, but not for Ukraine. Why do we have magnificent airplanes, magnificent engineers, but we are producing nothing, and nothing is flying?” Zelensky asked.
Malyshev Factory is a well-known producer of armored vehicles and the leader of the armored vehicle sector in Ukraine. Since 2011, the company has fallen under UkrOboronProm, serving as the core armored vehicle enterprise in the state concern’s cluster, which includes around 20 companies in the armored vehicle sector.
In recent years, the factory has signed major deals to supply products to Pakistan, China and Thailand.