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Caterpillar suspends Russian manufacturing operations amid deepening scrutiny

Tim Shelley

Caterpillar is suspending operations in its Russian manufacturing facilities as a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is wreaked by Russia's continuing invasion of its neighbor.

In a statement, the company said operations in Russia have become increasingly challenging due to supply chain disruptions and sanctions. The company said it is complying with all applicable laws and evolving sanctions.

This comes after Caterpillar and other companies still operating in Russia faced deepening scrutiny and criticism in recent days, even as other American companies suspended operations.

The company operates a manufacturing facility in Tosno, near St. Petersburg. A replacement parts distribution center is based near Moscow, as is a branch of Caterpillar Financial offering financing and leasing services to clients in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Caterpillar said it will continue to look for ways to support its employees in Russia.

The United Nations estimates more than 2.2 million people have fled the country. As of Tuesday, the UN's human rights body recorded 1,335 civilian casualties in the conflict, including 474 people killed.

The Caterpillar Foundation is donating more than $1 million to support humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic events continuing to occur in Ukraine and hope for a peaceful resolution to the crisis," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby in a prepared statement. "Through the Caterpillar Foundation's platform, we are responding to the urgent humanitarian needs in Ukraine and its neighboring countries. I am proud of the generosity of our employees to support these critical efforts."

Yale professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said approximately 8 percent of Caterpillar's revenue, or $4 billion, is derived from its Russian operations.

Other Illinois-based companies, including Abbott Labs, AbbVie, John Deere, Hyatt, and Mondelez, are still operating in Russia, per Sonnenfeld's tally.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.