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Family of Russia’s Lancet kamikaze drone creator owns property in London, IStories reports

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Svetlana Zakharov and Lavrentii Zakharov, the wife and son of Alexander Zakharov, who developed Russia's Lancet combat drones, own an apartment in London's Westminster borough valued at approximately £1,495,000 (around 180 million roubles, or $1.92 million), according to a report by the independent investigative outlet Important Stories (IStories), which published the property's title register and photos.

The publication notes that the UK has imposed sanctions on the manufacturer of drones, LLC CST (ZALA AERO, part of the Kalashnikov Concern), but not against the Zakharov family.

According to data from LinkedIn, Lavrentii, Alexander Zakharov’s youngest son, has been living in the UK since at least 2015 (since he was 16 years old). He has since graduated from high school and earned degrees from two of the UK’s top universities.

Since July 2021, Lavrentii Zakharov has worked for UN agencies in New York and Rome, and since May 2023 he has worked for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, Switzerland. UNIDIR's website says that Lavrentii Zakharov’s main research interests are “strengthening weapons and ammunition management (SWAM), and de-mining and humanitarian access.”

The Lancet drones, capable of flying at speeds of 80-110 km/h for up to 70 km and carrying up to 3 kg of explosives, are produced by Zala Lancet. The company is jointly owned by the Kalashnikov Concern and Alexander Zakharov. His wife Svetlana, son Nikita, and daughter Maria have all been involved in the UAV production business.

During the war, CST managed to supply the Russian defense industry with products worth 5.3 billion roubles ($58 million). IStories reported that the company continued to make drones using Western components, which were purchased through intermediary companies.

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