The Russian military has purchased hundreds of Desertcross 1000-3 utility terrain vehicles made by Shandong Odes Industry in China as Ukraine allies grow concerned about non-lethal goods that can be useful on the battlefield being sold to Russia.
According to the Financial Times, the vehicle is also popular with farmers in the US under the Aodes brand name, and the recent purchase from Russia could cause authorities to retaliate against the manufacturer.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last month that Russia was “dependent on willing third-country individuals and entities to resupply its military and perpetuate its heinous war against Ukraine.” She added, “We will not hesitate in holding them accountable.”
The report noted that Russia had purchased 537 of the basic model, and was planning to purchase an additional 1,500 more upgraded models, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vehicle “was extremely in demand” when he inspected them. According to TASS, the military was paying 1.58 million rubles ($17,200) for the basic model and 2.1 million rubles ($22,800) for the upgraded model.
Senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, Pavel Luzin told the outlet that it is not known where the Russian military purchased the vehicles from and that the sale could have happened by a 3rd party.
Speaking about the vehicle, Luzin said, “They might be better than the motorcycles or old [Soviet-made vehicles] Russian soldiers are widely using now, but no more than that.” He noted that it “is yet more demonstration that Russia can’t produce that much equipment or goods for its army.”
The purchase of the vehicles comes as Ukraine has shifted its focus to defending against Russia, with Ukranidna President Volodymyr Zelensky ordering the construction of fortifications after its counter-offensive yielded small gains. According to the Wall Street Journal, Zelensky ordered the fortifications “on all the main front, where we need to dig in, speed up the pace of construction.”