22.02.23 / UkraineRecovery / Press Release

"Bloody Balance 2022": NGO action at the Wintershall Dea annual press conference

Press invitation
- Protest action with photo & video opportunity 
- Thursday, 23.2.2023, 9:00 a.m., Berlin Office: Wintershall Dea, Neustädtische Kirchstraße 8, 10117 Berlin, Germany

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Berlin | 21 February 2023 

On the occasion of the annual press conference on Wintershall Dea's 2022 financial balance sheet one day before the anniversary of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, urgewald, the Ukrainian NGO Razom We Stand and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) protest in front of the company's Berlin representative office. The organisations criticise the company's role in the Russian war of aggression: On the one hand, according to media reports, Wintershall Dea sold gas condensate that was used to produce fuel for Russian fighter jets that were allegedly involved in war crimes in Ukraine. By producing oil and gas in Russia, the company also helped finance the war of aggression.
During the visual protest, the activists will hold surprise visual professional photographer-prepared actions, and hold a banner reading "Bloody Balance 2022". There will also be short, pithy speeches, among others by Iryna Shulikina from the Ukrainian organisation Vitsche.  

Downloadable pictures will be available on the day of action from around 11 a.m. 
Available at this link

Wintershall Dea did announce its withdrawal from Russia in January without a concrete timetable. But shortly afterwards there were renewed media reports showing a link between the company's gas condensate production and fuel for the Russian fighter jets that flew the attack on Dnipro, considered a war crime. At least 46 people were killed and 80 injured in the attack. Wintershall Dea has collaborated on oil and gas in Russia for the whole of 2022, and sold it on to Gazprom. Furthermore, the company has paid hundreds of millions of euros in taxes in Russia, much of which is used to fund Russia’s war chest to brutalise Ukraine. Now the company has announced that it will examine whether it can claim investment guarantees from the German state in the billions of euros for its withdrawal from Russia.

"Wintershall Dea sat out all the scandals about its possible involvement in war crimes for almost a year and continued to produce oil and gas in Russia. Only when the profit had disappeared from the Russian accounts and the production could no longer bring in profits did the company announce its withdrawal from Russia. According to this 2022 annual report, Wintershall Director Mario Mehren and the entire board must resign as a consequence of the Russia debacle. If the company is really able to claim federal investment guarantees worth billions, these must be paid as reparations for the reconstruction of Ukraine," demands Sonja Meister, energy campaigner at urgewald.

"Ukrainian blood is on the hands of Wintershall Dea. The company contributed to Russian war crimes in 2022 by paying hundreds of millions of euros in taxes to Russia and selling oil and gas to Gazprom.  Wintershall Dea's gas condensate probably also ended up fuelling the Russian fighter planes that flew the bloody attacks on Dnipro, which are considered war crimes. The German government has not yet publicly commented on this scandal and has not announced any investigations, although representatives of the Ukrainian government have demanded this. This should shock every German citizen, as it shocks me," comments Svitlana Romanko of Razom We Stand.

Constantin Zerger, Head of Energy and Climate Protection at Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), says: "Instead of finally initiating a conversion of its business model to renewable energies, the company continues to rely vehemently on the exploitation of fossil energies. Whether oil from Germany or fossil gas from Argentina - if it were up to Wintershall Dea, every last drop of oil and every last cubic metre of gas would be extracted from the ground. We demand that the company finally abide by the Paris climate agreement and present a Transformation Plan."

Wintershall Dea continues to rely exclusively on fossil fuels and has not launched any renewable energy projects. The company's planned expansion is not compatible with the 1.5 degree limit of the Paris Climate Agreement. Among other things, the company has applied to produce oil with new wells in the Wadden Sea National Park until 2069. In addition, Wintershall Dea uses particularly risky methods such as fracking, operates offshore platforms in extreme locations and is active in the highly sensitive Arctic. 

The most important facts in a nutshell:
What: Surprise visual actions; with fake blood and banner 
When: Thursday, 23.2.2023, 9 a.m.
Where: Neustädtische Kirchstraße 8, 10117 Berlin

Photos in the course of the morning from about 11 am here

We will be happy to coordinate interviews for you in advance or on site and look forward to your media coverage of the campaign.

Jason Kirkpatrick
Senior Communications Manager, Razom We Stand, [email protected]

Sonja Meister 
Energy Campaigner, urgewald, [email protected]

Constantin Zerger
Head of Energy and Climate Protection, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, [email protected]


Ukrainian group demands full investigation on war crimes, after Spiegel/ZDF expose German government’s greenlighting of investment in Russia

Fossil financiers of Wintershall Dea uncovered: urgewald, Razom We Stand and Deutsche Umwelthilfe call on banks and investors to cut ties with the company