According to an investigation by Politico, Russian companies have been supplying Russian soldiers with hundreds of thousands of rounds of American-made ammunition through Western suppliers for use in the war in Ukraine.
The Russian companies Promtekhnologiya and Tetis have acquired .338 caliber sniper ammunition from the American company Hornady, according to customs filings. Promtekhnologiya is the maker of the Orsis T-5000 sniper rifle used by the Russian Army.
The customs filings show that at least three of the imports of the rifle rounds occurred after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, which shows the difficulty of enforcing the export controls and sanctions designed to prevent Russian companies from obtaining US weapons and ammo.
Despite being under sanction by the United States, Promtekhonologiya filed a “declaration of conformity” on August 12, 2022, indicating its plan to purchase over 102,000 rounds of Hornady’s .338 caliber Lapua Magnum bullets. The company claimed that the bullets were for “hunting cartridges” for “civilian weapons,” Politico reported.
In a second “declaration of conformity” from the same date, the company declared its plan to buy a batch of “uncapped” .338 caliber Lapua Magnum cartridge cases for use in the assembly of “civilian firearms cartridges.”
However, the .338 Lapua Magnum is not just made for hunting. It is the “high-powered, long-range projectile” that the US developed for Western militaries to use in the 1980s. The ammo was used by American snipers during both the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, according to Politico.
In a statement to Politico, CEO Steve Hornady “categorically” denied that his company was exporting to Russia. He said that Hornady has not had a permit to export to Russia in 2014.
Hornady added that if the company discovers how any “son-of-a-bitch” in Russia has acquired its products, Hornady “will take all steps available to stop it.”