In the shadow of “Kalibr”: EDB “Novatorʼs” role in global and Ukrainian nuclear risks

On the second day of 2024, Ukraine came under another missile attack from Russia. The main targets of the strike were Kyiv and Kharkiv. Russians used "Iskanders," "cruise," and aeroballistic missiles, including "Kinzhals" and "Calibers." According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the enemy launched a total of 134 aerial targets, including "Kinzhals" and "Calibers." Furthermore, in early December 2023, Dmytro Pletenchuk, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Naval Forces, stated to "Suspilne" that Russia was likely stockpiling supplies of "Caliber" missiles.


For information on where "Calibers" are produced and who is personally involved, please read the publication by Molfar.



"Kalibr" — one of the leading products of "Novator"


On July 14, 2022, "Kalibr" cruise missiles were launched from a Russian ship in the Black Sea. That attack led to the death of 29 people in Vinnytsia


Over 20 people died on October 10, 2022, during a massive missile attack on Ukrainian territory, in which Russia likely used "Kalibr" missiles. Meanwhile, the Russians boasted about the precision of their weaponry. According to data from open sources, most of the missiles hit civilian targets: residential buildings, kindergartens, and children's playgrounds.

Remains of the "Kalibr" missile were found near Konotop. Source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine


EDB "Novator" (the experimental and design bureau, rus. — "опытное конструкторское бюро") — is Russia's primary producer of "Kalibr" missiles. They are responsible for some missiles used on Russian ships but also have a vast production range.


The "Kalibr" missile family (export name "Club") is developed from the nuclear cruise missile 3M-10 and the anti-ship missile ZM-51. The TRDD-50 engines for "Kalibr" are manufactured by the Rybinsk Motor Plant — "ODK-Saturn" (rus. — ПАО “ОДК-Сатурн"), which started to increase production volumes in 2022, leading to over 500 new job openings.


According to a post by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, as of February 23, 2022, Russia had 500 "Kalibr" missiles (likely referring to the most popular version of the missile — 3M-14). 


According to a statement by a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russia can produce 15-20 monthly units. As of January 2023, there were 60 units available. The total maximum salvo of "Kalibr" family missiles was 96 missiles. 


TRDD-50 engines can also be used in Kh-55, Kh-59, and Kh-101 missiles and the anti-ship cruise missiles Kh-35 Uran. According to the article, the development of new "Kalibr" missiles is financed until 2027.


According to Forbes, the approximate price of a "Kalibr" is $6.5 million. The cost of manufacturing the 3M-14 version in mass production ranges from $300k to $350k, and they are sold for export at $500k.



What other products is "Novator" working on?


In 2019, an explosion was followed by a radiation leak in a forgotten and remote village in the Arkhangelsk region. Investigations revealed that during underwater tests, a compact nuclear reactor of the "Burevestnik" missile exploded. The manufacturer of this missile is the Bureau "Novator".


As Russian websites report, during its existence, the Design Bureau "Novator" has created 6 samples of artillery and 24 samples of missile armament.

What is "EDB "Novator" and its location?


The Research and Design Bureau "Novator" was founded in 1947 in Yekaterinburg. It specializes in developing and producing missile systems, cruise missiles, particularly the "Kalibr" missile family, missile launchers, and training equipment for ground, naval, and air-based systems.

This is the entrance to the experimental and design bureau "Novator". Source: Yandex Maps

In 2002, by decree of Russian President Putin, the "Novator" became part of the JSC "Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern". Since 2016, the chairman of the board of directors of the "Almaz-Antey" concern has been Mikhail Efremovich Fradkov (rus. — Михаил Ефремович Фрадков), former director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (2007-2016). Before him, the bureau was headed by Pavel Ivanovich Kamnev (rus. — Павел Иванович Камнев). Pavel Pavlovich Kamnev (rus. — Павел Павлович Камнев), the son of the former general director and chief designer Pavel Kamnev, worked as the chief lawyer at the "Experimental and design bureau Novator." In 2016, he was found hanged in one of the offices of "Novator." His death was ruled a suicide.


According to a job listing for a milling machine operator, in 2021 the factory operated in 2 shifts: from 7:30 to 16:00 and from 15:45 to 00:15. The job listing for a locksmith-toolmaker (pattern maker) also mentioned a third shift — from 00:00 to 7:30.


In August 2019, there was an explosion at the Russian Navy's central test site "Nyonoksa" (rus.— "Нёнокса"). The incident resulted in one fatality and an increased level of radiation. According to an investigation by, the explosion occurred underwater during an attempt to surface a compact nuclear reactor, namely the "Burevestnik" missile (produced by Design Bureau "Novator") or "Poseidon."


What the territory of "Novator" look like?


The main buildings are located in Yekaterinburg, on Cosmonauts Avenue, 18. It is likely that the production and assembly of "Calibers" take place there in building 18C and an unnamed building nearby, as there are missile tubes resembling "Calibers" near these buildings.


The DKB "Novator" plant is located on a territory of 2750 square meters. There is also the production of "KMBP" (Kalinin Machine-Building Plant). They have the same structure. "Novator" was founded in 1947 based on the Kalinin plant.

Satellite image of the territory of the 'Novator' plant
Satellite image of the territory of the 'Novator' plant - where 'Kalibr' missiles are manufactured.

Part of the 4-story office building on the factory premises is rented out. It is likely that this building faces Cosmonauts Avenue and is, therefore, near the factory entrance.

The layout of Building No. 6, where plans for refueling and loading "Calibers" are intended, is not available in the provided text or sources


Other buildings and military units

One of the buildings of the factory in Akhtubinsk-7 city
One of the buildings of the flight test center in the city of Akhtubinsk, where repairs were conducted in September 2022

The flight test center is in Akhtubinsk-7, a military unit of the Russian Air Force 15650. Tenders for the repair of production facilities were held in JanuaryAprilAugust, and September 2022.

One of the buildings of industrial site No. 1 in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia

Industrial site No. 1 — Sverdlovsk region, city of Kirovgrad, village of Neyvo-Rudyanka, Zavodska Street, 4. The territory of a former chemical wood processing plant (street viewphotossatellite photos from 2019 with cylindrical metal objects. One of the buildings — an area of 3000 m² — was put up for sale in 2015 (12).


Repairs of buildings, explosions, and deaths at the plant


In September 2016, "Novator" began the construction of a new building, completing it in October 2018. This indicates an expansion of production capabilities. In 2019-2020, another building was erected on the adjacent site, which is likely also related to the expansion of production.


Furthermore, earthworks on another plot began in 2020, indicating the continuous modernization and development of the enterprise. Here are a few examples of buildings that were renovated at the plant during the period from 2016 to 2020.


In 2016, the roof of building №15 at Kalinin Machine-Building Plant collapsed above workshops №10 and №42. According to the official version, the incident resulted in the death of 4 people and injuries to 14 others. However, the number of injuries was likely understated. There is at least one known case where an employee, in shock, did not realize they had a leg injury. The next day, when they went to the factory hospital, they were denied treatment because the workshop had already been closed.


After the incident with the roof collapse, the following areas were also closed: building №27, the production part of building №11, and workshop №24 in building №3.


Regarding employee feedback, it only confirms this hypothesis. In a review from an engineer in September 2022, it is mentioned:


What could be improved: reduce the influence of nepotism and develop a system for evaluating the work and competence of employees (due to a large number of employees 'on the payroll)

Here are some reviews from other employees:

reviews from "Novator" employees


A Russian "opposition figure" is among the management of the plant that manufactures "Kalibr" missiles

Farid Khabibullovich Abdrakhmanov (Russian —Абдрахманов Фарид Хабибуллович) 


Farid Khabibullovich Abdrakhmanov


Date of birth: October 22, 1954

TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number): 666301586521

Passport 1: 6503571486

Passport 2: 6519986500

SNILS (Individual Insurance Number): 01092556523, 76503571486, 79221019080

Address: Yekaterinburg, Vostochnaya Street, 8a, Apartment 12.


General Director and Chief Designer. He was also a co-founder of CJSC "Monul" (LLC "Monul"), the primary type of activity was "other wholesale trade" ("51.70 - Other wholesale trade").

He owned 2 cars: BMW X3 with license plate В646ЕМ196 [VIN:X4XWX394400C93629], which he likely sold in 2022, and Lexus NX300H (12) with license plate М141МС196 [VIN:JTJBJRBZ502086686], which he also appears to have sold in 2022.


Traffic fines for violations: 01.04.2007 — failure to comply with the requirements prescribed by road signs or markings of the roadway, 17.12.2007 — failure to give way to pedestrians or other road users. He has 9 enforcement proceedings totaling 12k rubles. (123456789).


Ivanov Vladimir Geraldovich (Russian. — Иванов Владимир Геральдович)  — head of the trade union "Novator". Probably since 2014, he was a co-founder of the "Progress Party" regional branch in the Sverdlovsk region — the party of the "opposition" politician Alexei Navalny. The regional branch in the Sverdlovsk region was liquidated in May 2015.


Other executives of “Novator”:


Full Name



Vyacheslav Alexandrovich Gorbarenko

Deputy General Director, Chief Designer for Export and Foreign Economic Activity

28.12.1950, 79222080338, 74956655600, 74957775656, 74952580534, 73382080338

A.I. Obukhov

Deputy General Director — Production Director


Vladimir Gennadievich Rodionov

First Deputy General Director

25.07.1958, +79630396161, +79222210241

D.A. Chernoskutov

Chief Mechanic-Electrician


Yu.N. Maksimov

Head of the Electrical Engineering Bureau


R.R. Ostanyin

Deputy General Director for Security and Safety


Vladimir Nikolaevich Gusarov

Deputy General Director for Commerce


A.K. Frolov

Head of the Material and Technical Support and Equipment Management Bureau


I.N. Kruglikov

Head of the Material and Technical Support and Equipment Management Bureau


S.V. Dmitryn

Deputy Head of the Material and Technical Support and Equipment Management


V.L. Proskuryakov

Head of the Economic Security Group


Nadezhda Mikhaylovna Tselishcheva

Head of the Procurement Department, Former Head of the Subsidiary "Vstrecha"

20.02.1964, +79222244571

A.V. Emelyanov

Head of the Repair and Construction Department


M.M. Ten

Deputy Head of the Repair and Construction Department


Andrey Vladislavovich Zabolotny

Deputy General Director for Export

14.07.1972, [email protected], 79221180067

Oleg Klimov

Head of the Department


The global threat posed by "Novator"


Due to the war in Ukraine, in 2022, sanctions were imposed on "Novator" by the United States, the European Union, Switzerland, and Ukraine as a manufacturer of military missiles. However, according to a statement from Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate representative, Russia may produce 15-20 "Kalibr" missiles monthly. As of January 3, 2022, Russia still had 177 "Kalibr," Kh-101, and Kh-55 missiles.


The "Novator" experimental and design bureau represents a significant and complex challenge in Russia's war against Ukraine. This company is the source of "Kalibr" missiles, and they also produce other missiles that pose a threat to Ukraine's security. Considering that some of these missiles are intercontinental and capable of carrying nuclear warheads, "Novator," like "Kalibr," is a threat to the entire world.








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