A Scottish firm officially wound up more than a year ago is to provide armed guards for a huge steel mill in war-torn eastern Ukraine.

Childwall Systems - one of thousands of nominally Scottish business mushrooming in Ukraine - has won a contract to provide former soldiers and volunteer militiamen in the conflict zone provided they have "excellent skills with firearms".

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The firm is a controversial Scottish limited partnership of the kind now routinely marketed as a "Scottish offshore company" across much of the former Soviet Union. However, Companies House documents show that the business was formally dissolved in 2014.

Fighting in Donetsk in 2014

HeraldScotland: Smoke billows over a residential apartment houses following shelling in the area in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, early Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce figh

A quarter of live Scottish limited partnerships created since 1907 were registered in the last financial year.

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Childwall Systems is to provide "defence services", according to Ukrainian newspaper Nashi Hroshi or Our Money, for the historic Makiivka iron and steel works in the unrecognised republic of Donetsk, a defacto independent statelet under the control of pro-Russian separatists.

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This Stalin-era plant - one of the most important in Europe - is currently effectively in the hands of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the Shakhtar Donetsk football club and a £136.4m London penthouse, once the most expensive property ever bought in Britain.

Pro-Russian demonstrations in Donetsk

HeraldScotland: People gather for a pro-Russian rally at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine (AP)

The contract is for just £70,000 and runs until the end of the year, according to Nashi Hroshi. Childwall Systems was registered at a virtual office in Edinburgh and, according to Nashi Hroshi, declared a UK phone number which, when checked by The Herald, proved to be a line for Network Rail.

Rinat Akhmetov, billionaire Ukrainian oligarch

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The Herald on Tuesday revealed that a Scottish company called Fuerteventura Inter had been named in an unrelated arms export corruption prosecution.

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