While Aleksandr Zakharov is arming the Russian army with kamikaze drones, his son, Lavrenty, is working at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.
This is according to the Russian media outlet, Important Stories.
Aleksandr is the chief designer of Russia's deadly Lancet drone, which was used in Syria and now widely in Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops say the suicide drone attacks have ramped up in recent months and are a serious threat during their ongoing counteroffensive.
According to Important Stories, Aleksandr, with a 50.85 percent stake, is the controlling owner of Zala Aero Group, the company that makes the drones he designed. The rest belongs to the Kalashnikov Concern.
Zala Aero Group is sanctioned by Ukraine, Australia, and the United Kingdom, although not by Europe or the United States.
Meanwhile, Aleksandr has managed to personally evade international sanctions, Important Stories reports.
Lavrenty, who is the youngest in the Zakharov family, left Russia at 16 and got a bachelor's degree in politics, sociology and Eastern European studies from University College London. Later, he got a master's degree in conflict studies from the London School of Economics.
Although Lavrenty is a good student and has gotten his career off to a good start, there’s nothing to suggest that he could afford his family’s nearly $2 million apartment overlooking Big Ben in London's posh Westminster area. The apartment has been in the Zakharov family’s possession since 2018.
Lavrenty started working at the United Nations in 2021. Since May 2023, he's been working at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research in Switzerland.
His research interests, according to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) website, are the weapons and ammunition management program, demining and humanitarian access.
Other members of the Zakharov family are linked to the drone business. Aleksandr’s wife, Svetlana, and their son Nikita, as well as daughter Maria, also have roles in it, Important Stories reported.
Meanwhile, sanctions meant to stop companies like Zala Aero Group from getting the foreign components they need to build more drones seem to be ineffective.
Following the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, production rates for the weapon have sharply increased by as much as 50 times, Rossiya-1 television journalist Aleksander Rogatkin reported in a glowing Sunday, July 16 broadcast.
The weapon is in such demand by the Russian military that ZALA has purchased and converted an unused Izhevsk shopping mall to house a new production facility, Alexsandr Zakharov said in a recent interview.
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