russia Loses Customers in Asia, Gets a Shipping Ban Instead of Mi-28 Deal

russian Mi-28NE / Open source illustrative photo
russian Mi-28NE / Open source illustrative photo

And it all started when the russians hit a foreign vessel with a large shipment of grain and did not even apologize

On February 14, 2022, the government of Bangladesh banned 69 russian vessels, including tankers and other cargo liners belonging to 7 companies, from entering its ports. This ban is actually quite painful for the Kremlin, because it creates difficulties for the russians to deliver goods needed for the construction of the Rooppur NPP, as part of a joint project between India and the russian federation.

But at the same time, this story has some relation to the global arms market. Namely, it shows how the russian military industry rapidly loses customers for its "products" after the invasion of Ukraine.

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Bangladesh Air Force Mi-17 helicopter
Bangladesh Air Force Mi-17 helicopter / Open source illustrative photo

Bangladesh was among the "traditional" buyers of russian aircraft in the Asian region. According to The Military Balance 2022, the Bangladeshi military has, in particular, 8 MiG-29 aircraft, 13 Yak-130 jet trainer and light combat aircraft, 14 Mi-17 and 12 Mi-171Sh transport helicopters.

In late December 2021, there was information that Bangladesh wanted to purchase additional eight Mi-28NE attack helicopters from the russian federation. The estimated value of the contract should have been 473 million dollars, and the state treasury had yet to find this money to begin with. Although the decision to buy the Mi-28 was made by the Bangladeshi military precisely after a visit by the russian delegation.

russian Mi-28NE
russian Mi-28NE / Open source illustrative photo

However, with the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian forces into Ukraine, several dozen civilian ships happened to be blocked in Ukrainian ports, it includes the Banglar Samriddhi motor ship under the flag of Bangladesh. The vessel had a large batch of Ukrainian grain on board intended to depart. On March 2, 2022, a missile of the russian Navy hit this ship, one of the crew members died.

Bangladesh wanted to receive from russia compensation for losses inflicted by this shelling, the sum in question, according to some sources, was estimated at USD 150 million (the insurance payments alone for the ship amounted to $22 million). But instead, Bangladesh received a refusal from the russians voiced in an inappropriate manner.

Damaged Banglar Samriddhi motor ship under the flag of Bangladesh
Damaged Banglar Samriddhi motor ship under the flag of Bangladesh / Open source archive image

Obviously, after this, the matter of the potential purchase of russian Mi-28s was removed from the agenda, especially after this "wunderwaffe" of the russian military industry suffered a fiasco in Ukraine. And now russia also got sanctions against a project which should at least somehow maintain relations between the Kremlin and India.

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