Monday, March 16, 2015

Ukraine rebels turn oligarch`s plant into tank factory | Zee News

Donetsk: In eastern Ukraine`s rebel-held city of Donetsk workers at a factory that used to supply heavy machines for local coal mines are busy spray painting armoured vehicles and fixing tank tracks.

The Corum Donetskgormash plant is a hive of activity, with the clang of tools ringing out above the incessant coming and going of trucks.

The property of Ukraine`s richest man, steel billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, it was taken over by the pro-Russian rebels last year and turned into a tank repair shop.

The separatists say the Soviet T-62 and T-64 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery stored in the plant are all "trophies" taken from Kiev government forces on the battlefield.

Some are so badly damaged they are stripped for spare parts.

"From two or three trophies that the Ukrainians leave us we can produce one working vehicle," said Roman, the factory`s assistant manager, who declined to give his full name. The 40-year-old defected to the rebellion from his job as a military engineer.

Every day the factory turns out one or two vehicles, each of which requires between 10 and 20 days work.

The majority of them were captured from government troops when they beat a retreat from the town of Debaltseve after a months-long siege, which culminated with the rebels storming the transport hub on February 18, three days into a ceasefire.

Complete story at - Ukraine rebels turn oligarch`s plant into tank factory | Zee News

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