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How TotalEnergies gas is fueling Russian fighter jets in Ukraine

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How TotalEnergies gas is fueling Russian fighter jets in Ukraine
Written by madishthestylebar

In Russia, TotalEnergies not only exports gas to Europe, as it often explains to justify its presence there. The French oil giant operates, with its local partner Novatek, a deposit from which are extracted gas condensates, a liquid hydrocarbon which, once transformed into kerosene, is used to refuel Russian fighter planes engaged in the war in Ukraine. Terneftegaz, which operates this deposit, is 49% owned by TotalEnergies and 51% by Novatek.

Thanks to information compiled by the NGO Global Witness and obtained from the financial database Refinitiv, owned by the London Stock Exchange, The world was able to trace the supply chain that leads from the Termokarstovoye gas field in Siberia to two military airbases (Morozovskaya and Malchevo) each housing a squadron of multirole combat aircraft. These squads are accused by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of having struck the Ukrainian civilian population, in particular the bombardment of the Theater of Mariupol, which would have caused the death of approximately 600 people, on March 16, 2022. A “proven war crime”according to Amnesty International.

Also read the editorial: TotalEnergies in Russia: we must stop turning a blind eye

In this case, it is still difficult to assign responsibility for the bombardment to a specific crew. Amnesty International investigators claim that “the Russian aircraft most likely to have carried out the attack is a multirole combat aircraft of the SU-25, SU-30 or SU-34 type, which are deployed at nearby airfields”. Most of the bombardments on Mariupol (440,000 inhabitants at the start of the invasion) were carried out by combat aircraft based in Morozovskaya, located 350 kilometers from the target, in the Rostov region. The world collected several testimonies from survivors of Mariupol telling of having been bombarded by Sukhoi planes (whose prefix is ​​SU-) which circled frequently in the sky of the city.

Minimized role

The French group, which has publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine (while failing to translate this condemnation into Russian on its website), minimizes its role in the exploitation of gas condensate. “TotalEnergies is not the operator of the Terneftegaz facilities, which are operated by Novatek personnel”, he says, adding that he “does not participate in decisions on the recovery of condensates by Novatek” and did “no control over its sales. » Is the majority shareholder Novatek alone to make all the decisions with 51% of the shares of the joint venture? “The majority thresholds depend on the nature of the decisions”, admits TotalEnergies, acknowledging de facto to be able to block certain decisions.

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