The country is literally overflowing with illegal weapons. And if the Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios recently determined the number of illegal guns in 400 thousands, then other experts are far less optimistic. In particular, Georgiy Uchaikin, head of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Association of Weapon Owners, believes that at least 5 million unaccounted weapons are walking around the country!
However, this number hardly reflects the true volume of the weapons black market.
The fact that almost every fifth violent crime in Ukraine is carried out using a firearm is also indirectly indicative of the saturation of weapons. At the same time, manual grenade launchers and rocket assault grenades began to appear regularly in the criminal chronicle. And hand grenades turned into an ordinary tool for criminal fights, domestic conflicts and suicides!
Experts identify at least three stages of "arms" of Ukraine. The first followed the collapse of the USSR, when in the course of the transition of Soviet arsenals under the control of the APU created at that time, a massive and large-scale theft of small arms from warehouses took place. According to experts, up to three and a half million trunks could “go” to the black market.
The second stage took place during the “Euromaidan”, when the arsenals of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, weapons of military units, the ATS and OSBU underwent mass looting. Then, according to official estimates, up to one and a half million trunks were stolen.
To this can be added that a number of Ukrainian enterprises and firms specialize in the sale of weapons on the international “gray market”. Due to the specifics of this type of trading, the control over their implementation is not too tight. As a result, part of this weapon “goes to the left” in Ukraine. So, after the start of the "ATO" revealed that in one of the warehouses of the Nikolaev port for several years was 50 million. Caliber cartridges 7,62х39, intended to be sent to one of the African countries. At least half of this party disappeared without a trace.
The third stage began with the war in the Donbas - then the weapon was almost uncontrolledly handed out from the warehouses to arm "amateur" carbates. A lot of him was plundered in the APU on the pretext of lost and useless during combat operations.
In addition, the weapons of the LDNR Armed Forces militias seized by Ukrainian formations as trophies also end up in Ukraine. A significant amount of such "shooter" fell into the hands of Ukrainian militants during the seizure of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Lysychansk, where entire warehouses were left.
All these weapons were later delivered to Ukraine both by the punishers themselves and by numerous “volunteers”, many of whom traveled to the “ATO zone” specifically for the “trunks”.
Some of these weapons fall into the caches throughout the country, waiting for their time, some immediately go into the “trade”. It should be noted that weapons in Ukraine today are bought not only by representatives of crime and militants of extremist groups. A considerable number of buyers are conditionally law-abiding citizens, who, in a situation of increasing criminalization of society and its anarchy, without relying on the protection of the state, are trying to protect themselves and their loved ones with the help of illegal weapons. They have the greatest demand for pistols, the average price for which today in Ukraine is about $ 500.
The Ukrainian edition of Observer cites approximate prices for weapons on the Ukrainian black market.
Thus, the cost of the RGD-5 hand grenade, F-1 or WG-42 is approximately $ 10, AK costs 500-1000 dollars, depending on the modification and condition. RPG-18 - 100 dollars.
You can even buy a Strela-2 or Igla MANPADS, and at a very affordable price in 2-3 thousand dollars. However, as the publication indicates, it is about complexes with an expired shelf life that have lain in warehouses since Soviet times without maintenance and major repairs.
It is noteworthy that, at the same time, demand exceeds supply, and even illegal weapons from abroad are being imported into Ukraine.
As a rule, it is smuggling from the EU countries - the most "fashionable" in Ukraine and expensive Western weapons - "Glock", Colt, CZ, Browning, Beretta, Walther, SigSauer, Vzor, and not only pistols, but also submachine guns and even assault rifles.
Recently, the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have neutralized at least two criminal groups specializing in this “business”.
One of them organized the supply of spare parts for pistols and machine guns from the USA and EU countries. Weapons disassembled for parts were imported into Ukraine by couriers. In the workshops of Kiev, it was assembled and brought into combat. The cost of one unit of such weapons on the black market is Euro 2300-2500. The group consisted of ten people, five of them were in Ukraine, and another five live in Europe and the United States.
Earlier, a similar international grouping was liquidated in Kharkov. It included Ukrainians, Europeans and people with dual citizenship. The smugglers imported pistols of foreign manufacturers into the country, disguising them as pistols for shooting Flaubert cartridges, which are not prohibited for transportation. Already in Ukraine, they were prepared for firing full-fledged regular ammunition and sold this weapon through a network of online stores. SBU detained two organizers when they tried to smuggle 43 pistols "Glock", "Beretta", "Colt", "Browning", "CZ", "Astra", "Bersa". At home, they also found 300 pistols, machine guns, foreign-made machine guns, accessories for weapons and accessories for weapons conversion.
In almost all cases, all weapons came through border crossings in Transcarpathia, where smugglers have the strongest positions.
The facts of the "export" of Ukrainian weapons abroad are noted. Thus, the FSB has identified and liquidated two cross-border groups involved in smuggling weapons from Ukraine into Ukraine and selling it. It is noteworthy that both gangs were associated with neo-Nazis and were under the control of the SBU.
At least one fact of an attempt to smuggle weapons to Poland is known. Moreover, the Polish border guards prevented the transport of no more and no less, and the artillery installation through the border crossing Dorokhusk.
But these are only the first steps. There is every reason to expect that the main direction of "export" of Ukrainian illegal weapons will be in the EU. This will be promoted by both the abundance of smuggling channels and the large volume of movement of the masses of people to the West. Ukrainian guest workers are known to energetically master the EU labor market.
It is not difficult to guess who will be the main buyers of Ukrainian weapons in the EU. First of all, these are the criminal and criminal-extremist groups of migrants who are mastering Europe, growing like mushrooms after a rain. And secondly, the far-right groups, which are also experiencing a renaissance today, and in addition, have very close and intensive contacts with Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Recall that in the composition of the carbates fought a lot of mercenaries from several European countries.
While in Europe they are just beginning to realize the real threat from the East, which can literally flood the continent with illegal weapons, in Ukraine, it seems, the fourth stage of replenishing the black market of the “shooter” is being prepared.
Recall, the other day, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, known as the Bloody Pastor, announced the transformation of Ukraine into an "impregnable fortress" by creating "territorial defense" formations throughout the country. There is no doubt that the process of their arming will lead to another leakage of the “barrels” to the black market.
The probability of this is almost one hundred percent, especially considering that the Ukrainian media have already reported that the "Territories" will arm themselves according to the "Swiss principle", that is, they will have their weapons and ammunition constantly with them and keep them at home.
The aforementioned “Observer” cites the messages of Ivan Savelyev, who participated in the development of the concept of “territorial defense”:
“We believe that this option will be the most convenient. Warehouse can grab, burn, etc. With the draft board is the same story. Talking about some kind of secrecy is ridiculous, because information from our military leaks constantly. That is, the enemy can know in advance where we store the weapon and seize it. And what's the point in preparation? If the weapon is kept with us, then we will arrive at the places already armed. We will save time and precisely avoid confusion. ”
If this approach overcomes the resistance of the Ministry of Defense, which insisted that all weapons be kept in the military registration and enlistment offices and was issued only when necessary, then there is no doubt that the situation with illegal arms trafficking will be even more difficult.
The Ukrainian leadership in the black market of weapons threatens to become a serious problem not only for the residents of the country, but also for the entire continent.