Russia reiterates warning over black market Ukrainian weapons

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow has compiled a list of briefings in which it raised the alarm about unchecked weapons deliveries to Kiev

The unchecked delivery of Western weapons to Ukraine has resulted in a large amount of these arms ending up in the hands of organized criminal groups and extremists around the world, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has again claimed. 

On Tuesday, the diplomat published a compilation of excerpts from briefings over the past 18 months in which Moscow consistently raised concerns and provided evidence testifying to the unchecked spread of weapons supplied to Kiev. 

Zakharova suggested that the reason for this phenomenon was rampant corruption in Ukraine as well as corrupt ties between Washington and Kiev. Despite Moscow repeatedly calling for international media to highlight the issue, major Western news outlets have refused to conduct investigations or assess the data, the spokeswoman added. 

Below is a collection of briefings conducted by the Russian Foreign Ministry since March 24, 2022, in which it warned the international community on the issue.

READ MORE: Hamas using weapons given to Ukraine – ex-Russian president

August 2, 2023 briefing

 “…By supplying all these weapons to the neo-Nazis in Kiev, the West encourages human rights violations by the receiving state, escalates the armed confrontation and becomes an accomplice in the war crimes perpetrated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against civilians on both sides of the line of contact. They are bound by specific commitments as OSCE member states and everything they do is at odds with these commitments.

<…> However, with massive deliveries of military products to the Kiev regime, Western OSCE member states find it increasingly challenging to conceal the multiple facts exposing theft, the reselling of weapons and their transfers to arms traffickers.

It remains an open question where the next shipment of weapons to Ukraine by the would-be compassionate Western alliance surfaces. But this is happening. Czech and Belgian rifles may well target innocent people, including their own citizens, anywhere around the world. However, NATO and EU countries have been persistently ignoring the threat of nationalists, radicals or terrorists in or outside Ukraine getting their hands on these state-of-the-art weapons. Considering that the risks in this regard are quite high, we can go as far as to conclude that Western countries encourage terrorist activity.”

July 26, 2023 briefing

 “…This is confirmed by the Pentagon’s recent report. The West should trust this document. The US media amplified its contents. The report states that part of Western arms sent to Ukraine was stolen. It notes that from February to September 2022, the Americans had no opportunity to follow up on supplied arms. They sent an audit commission to Ukraine only in October 2022. What happened before October 2022? The Americans had been supplying arms for over half a year without any control. Meanwhile, we understand what Kiev officials are all about. They don’t feel sorry for their own mothers in the same way as Zelensky doesn’t care about his grandfather. We can only guess how many arms went to the black market and whether the Pentagon commission can guarantee in any way its ability to prevent dealers and other poachers from laying their hands on them. These figures won’t be long in coming. Obviously, these arms will repeatedly surface in different parts of the world. Unfortunately, they are already in the hands of terrorists and other criminals.”

July 20, 2023 briefing 

 “…At the same time, they are not analysing how the weapons that are now being supplied en masse to the black market will be used. The issue is about illegal weapons, because many shipments don’t even make it to Kiev, much less the battlefields. They end up in the hands of dealers and then fall into the hands of terrorists and extremists. This will exacerbate the terrorist and extremist threat on the continent.”

July 6, 2023 briefing 

 “…To believe numerous media reports, neo-Nazi groups are directly involved in the unrest in France. Has anyone in the Elysee Palace thought about this? If not, it is time to. Here’s more food for thought – the weapons supplied to Kiev are landing in the hands of protesters and are being used against the police in France. Has President Emmanuel Macron told the nation about this or is it a secret? Then we’ll say it ourselves. The weapons supplied by the West, NATO and France in particular, and the funds invested in the support of nationalists, Nazis and fascists in Ukraine is having blowback on their own territory and their people. We predicted this a year and a half ago.”

June 21, 2023 briefing 

 “…At the same time, the European Union is not eager to keep providing for Ukraine. Sooner or later, European voters will ask (and they are already starting to raise questions) how their taxes have been spent, when they see criminals killing their fellow citizens with weapons brought into their countries from Ukraine via the black market – because these supplies did not reach Bankovaya Street (and even if they reached it, they were immediately resold). According to the scheme in which the Kiev regime is involved, these weapons are not documented anywhere. And then EU residents will start asking questions. How long it takes before this happens also depends on them. They will want to know where their taxes went. Where is the output from the previous financial injections into the Kiev regime?”

June 15, 2023 briefing 

 “…In addition, we have repeatedly issued warnings about the danger of flooding the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Western weapons and equipment, as well as their unchecked spread and falling into the hands of sabotage and criminal groups. Making Belgian light firearms available to Ukrainian terrorists and saboteurs is far from the first such case. There are earlier examples of them being illegally used by the Taliban and Mexican drug cartels. Were the assault rifles randomly scattered in a poppy field as well? The West does not want and cannot control the flow of weapons coming into Ukraine. The Western assessments (not ours, not related to us and not affiliated with the Russian Federation) show that the illegal black market of weapons is gathering pace due to the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime. The amount of money is outlandish. The Kiev regime sold its mother, Ukraine, and its fathers and forefathers. It’s not only about weapons. They will be selling everything that falls into their hands. These are people without a moral core. They have no morality or ideals that would hold them back.”

May 24, 2023 briefing 

 “…I believe that instead of planting fake news stories the US State Department should take up the specific and substantive weapons-related issue. I’m talking about unchecked supplies in that region through their entities under the pretext of providing assistance to the Kiev regime. In fact, these weapons have been popping up for a long time now not only in Europe, but other continents as well. Instead of engaging irresponsibly in this rhetoric, the US State Department should open up on whether it realises the fact that the weapons it supplies to Kiev as part of an assistance effort go immediately to the black market. Do they have any information on that? What can they say to this? Do they feel any responsibility?”

May 10, 2023 briefing 

 “…The continuing supply of Western weapons to the Kiev regime has led to large-scale military corruption and arms smuggling in Ukraine and beyond it.

Over the past few months, the American and European officials and media have conducted several investigations that led them to conclude that between 60 and 70 percent of Western weapons never reach Ukraine but are delivered directly to the black market. This is not reverse trading or covert deals but direct deliveries to a “non-addressee.”

Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock warned last year that the wide availability of weapons during the Ukraine conflict would lead to the proliferation of illicit weapons in the post-conflict phase, with the weapons ending in the hands of organised crime and terrorists. There is only one thing he was wrong about: the proliferation of illicit weapons did not begin after the conflict but during it.

The US Congress announced an audit of US spending and supplies to Ukraine in November 2022 and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak followed suit in December 2022. The reason is that the country has become a black hole. This may suit some people, but not everyone. Some people in Europe are apparently starting to consider what they will tell their voters when the guns sent to Ukraine “on paper” are used to kill Europeans. They will have to tell their voters how these supplies were controlled and how they were delivered to Ukraine. The truth will hit those who are generously signing the bills for the murder of Russians and Ukrainians out there, like a ton of bricks.

We have said this on numerous occasions, without any sarcasm or glee, trying to warn them about the backlash. This is more than a simple boomerang effect, because some of these weapons disappear on the Western black markets before reaching the border with Ukraine, and some of them are traded by the recipients on the battlefield. There are examples of such trade by those in Ukraine who were to receive these weapons directly on the battlefield, while the Ukrainian armed forces received completely different weapons. There are numerous reports to this effect in the public media.

Last January, a group of US government auditors arrived in Ukraine to ensure accountability with regard to the US military and financial aid. Oh, how naïve these US auditors are to believe that someone will tell them anything and that somehow they will be able to get to the truth.

A Transparency International report on the 2022 corruption problem in 180 countries graphically demonstrated the level of corruption among Ukrainian state officials. Let me remind you that Transparency International is one of those organisations that habitually salute the Kiev regime, post Ukraine support symbols on their websites, and have fully associated themselves with the West in this matter. They just cannot be suspected of being on our side. And yet, the report has assigned one of the lowest ratings to Ukraine (33 points out of the 100 possible), with the experts coming to the conclusion that the risk of wrongdoers misappropriating foreign financial aid was great both during the hostilities in Ukraine and later. They have no doubt as to what is happening to that financial aid. And the central point is that this is dangerous rather than just bad because of corruption. Embezzlement is not the only problem. There are also stolen weapons that end up in the hands of criminal elements, organised crime groups, terrorists and extremists, rather than in a museum or a rubbish dump.”

May 3, 2023 briefing 

 “…We have been discussing the issue of all types of weapons supplied to Kiev disappearing and then surfacing somewhere else for more than a year now as it was happening. Before that, we covered this in various aspects as well, but it’s been a year now that we have been talking about what is going on in real life and will be happening in the short term. Everything we have been talking about for a long time (we revisit this issue literally every day) has come true.

Interestingly, not everyone in the West (to put it mildly) wants to see this. It is clear why Washington does not want to see this, since this is part of their strategy to destabilise the situation in Europe. It’s obvious. However, EU officials, representatives, and political movements who are at the helm and have access to corresponding information are looking the other way, too, and it’s not clear why. I think that the usual answer will work here as well: some of them are proxies or conductors of Washington’s will and others, clearly due to political circumstances, prefer to remain silent, oblivious of where this silence will take them.

Ironically, weapons of all kinds, including heavy weapons, made it to European black markets a long time ago. What are these black arms markets? You know well this is not about some kind of a field of dreams, a garden or a backyard where the situation can be controlled one way or another. Speaking of weapons, the black market is everywhere because of the internet which offers an opportunity to use blockchain to acquire technology through online information chains that are not controlled by governments or special services.

It includes organised crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, robbery, thuggery and, among other things, the transshipment of all this to other parts of the world. Some things remain in the EU, some go to other places. Clearly, they are under an illusion that this transit part will not affect them. They lived in this illusion when they were creating the Arab Spring with their own hands, destroying Libya, or trying to occupy Syria. Later, they had to come to their senses when tens, hundreds of thousands, and millions of migrants showed up at their doorstep with their problems and woke them up. Then, they were compelled to move from their illusory world to the real world.

We never stopped talking about it.”

April 12, 2023 briefing 

 “…The Ukrainian army and foreign mercenaries are using weapons supplied by the West to destroy the civilian populations of the DPR, LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, including women and children. Ukrainian artillery carries out regular strikes on residential areas and civilian infrastructure, and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is being shelled with all the ensuing threats of a nuclear catastrophe. We have repeatedly sounded the alarm, reporting that Western weapons sent to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank systems, are spreading around the world due to endemic corruption in the country’s political and military circles. They eventually pop up in other regional conflicts, fall into the hands of crime rings, terrorists and extremists, including in Europe, the blossoming “garden” that Josep Borrell spoke about. The challenges this poses will not leave anyone safe, creating a threat to the internal security of every state on the European continent, and in particular their civilian air traffic.

This is the simplest analytics available to everyone. It is not so difficult to read what happened after the United States and the anti-Iraqi coalition’s occupation and aggression against Baghdad – where the weapons ended up, what terrorist attacks occurred, what terrorist groups were formed, and what threats emerged to peace and security. The same holds true for Libya and the Arab Spring. The world has been through this. Apparently, the Western regimes failed to draw any conclusions from those mistakes (or to correct their mistakes).”

February 17, 2023 briefing 

“…Meanwhile, in reality, in terms of criminal law, they have long since become not only accomplices but the instigators of the crimes by the Kiev regime. It is revealing that the emptying of their own arsenals is compelling Ukraine’s Western curators to wonder where earlier supplied weapons have gone. Have they reached the frontline at all? Or have profits from their resale landed in the pockets of Kiev officials? Filth, horror, stench – this is what characterises the collaborationism of the Kiev regime with the NATO-centric world.

Judging by the results of the Brussels get-togethers, one gets the impression that the NATO countries are pumping Ukraine full of arms also for the enrichment of the Western military-industrial complex, above all American defence industry, in a bid to keep it flush with contracts for a long time to come. This is classic colonial logic. Probably this is slave logic, not even colonial. Otherwise, it is impossible to explain their obsession with getting rid of their arsenals to the detriment of their national security, especially since the products ordered today will be made only two or three years later. These irresponsible actions are hitting rank-and-file Europeans who will have to pay for this entire bloody banquet.”

January 12, 2023 briefing 

“… We have repeatedly spoken, in Foreign Ministry briefings and other statements, about the evidence of numerous instances of the misuse of the weapons supplied by NATO countries to Ukraine.

Since the first weeks, we have warned that these weapons would spread across the European continent, and no one would ever be safe there from being attacked with one of these weapons sold on the black market. This is already an industry. It has gone beyond isolated facts or cases; it is a global reality.

On June 1, 2022, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock warned that after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, there is a high probability that illegal trade in weapons originally intended for Kiev would intensify.

On July 1, 2022, an investigation conducted by the RT channel revealed black markets that operate via the darknet and are an important element in brokering illegal transactions. Missiles for the Javelin anti-tank system are offered at $30,000 (when they cost US taxpayers $178,000); missiles for the NLAW anti-tank systems are offered at $15,000, Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones at $7,000, small arms, grenades and body armor, at $1,100 -$3,600 (including delivery within Ukraine). The seller and the buyer do not even have to meet in person: after the buyer transfers the money, they receive the coordinates that mark the location of the purchased weapons. Everything the darknet markets are known for with respect to illegal goods, now includes the weapons the West is sending to Ukraine.

On July 21, 2022, the Office of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council and the country’s Ministry of Defence announced the launch of the SOTA information and analytical system for monitoring arms supplies to Ukraine from partner countries to ensure transparency. That is, six months ago, the Kiev regime itself actually tried to gain control of the “circulation” of weapons that are supplied by the West. However, since the activation of the system, there has been no report on the results of its work. Because it’s useless.

On July 22, 2022, Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth, in an interview with the German news agency DPA, mentioned the alarmingly high risk that weapons sent to Ukraine would end up in the hands of organised crime or terrorists. He said there were known cases where people have left Ukraine with weapons. According to Europol, criminal networks in the region plan to smuggle large quantities of arms and ammunition, including heavy weapons, using existing supply routes and online platforms. Can you imagine this? Not swords and knives, but heavy weapons. Not something criminals have managed to hide from the police in the past. Heavy weapons are now leaving the territory of Ukraine in unknown directions to surface elsewhere later. This is Interpol data.

On August 4, 2022 the American CBS released a documentary “Arming Ukraine.” It was about arms smuggling and the greater frequency of such incidents in Ukraine. Volunteers and military experts appearing in the film maintained that from 60 to 70 percent of Western aid did not reach the Armed Forces of Ukraine at all (these were not arms that went to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and disappeared later). If we proceed from these figures, the 30-40 percent that reach them are also subject to the same trends. Can you imagine the arms shipments and numbers of weapons spreading uncontrollably? However, several days later the documentary was removed from the CBS website without any warning. The company explained that the information on this subject needed to be updated. Expert quotes criticising the Ukrainian military also disappeared from previews of the documentary on social media. And these were quotes from experts. Everything was cleaned up, including on social media.

In an interview with the Finnish news agency Yle, Detective Superintendent of Finland’s Central Criminal Police, Christer Ahlgren, said that weapons initially sent to Ukraine, including assault rifles, pistols, grenades and combat drones, were discovered in a number of European countries. We understand well the situation because we repeatedly went through customs while boarding flights. There are announcements and warnings that it is forbidden to bring cold weapons, pistols, grenades, etc. Yes, such things happen. People try to take some of them onboard. But what about combat drones? This cannot happen due to neglect or accident. It is impossible to carry a combat drone in a suitcase either by plane, train or ship. There must be a completely different chain for the delivery and supply of these drones to the “non-destination” countries. At any rate, this was the case before. Now I wouldn’t be surprised at anything. In Ahlgren’s words, Finnish criminal groups are “very interested” in acquiring modern military systems, ammunition and weapons. He said Ukrainian weapons have already turned up in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. All three states abstained from any comments.

On November 1, 2022, quoting anonymous sources in the US Department of State, The Washington Post noted that a mere 10 percent out of 22,000 units of arms requiring special control, were subjected to inspection.

On November 17, 2022, US Congress announced the start of auditing for all supplies and financial packages for Ukraine. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican in the House of Representatives and one of the authors of this initiative, explained that the American people deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent when they are sent to a foreign state that is not a NATO member. I would say that this is no longer even a question of money. It is something quite different. Americans and other taxpayers and all people in the world deserve to know where NATO weapons are spreading and in what amounts.

Speaking at the 16th Summit of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) on November 30, 2022, President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari noted that the authorities of the republic had already discovered weapons intended for Ukraine in the hands of extremists. This is Chad – no common border with Ukraine. Meanwhile, these weapons were meant for Ukraine.

On December 15, 2022, a grenade launcher exploded in the office of Jaroslaw Szymczyk, Commander-in-Chief of the Police in Poland. According to the Zet radio station, the weapons were brought to Warsaw from Kiev by a special train without border controls. What is going on here?

On December 16, 2022, Prime Minister of the UK Rishi Sunak decided to audit the aid granted to Ukraine. He said London wants to know what it has invested and what it has gained from it. I could advise him to look at our briefings and skip the audit. We will tell the Brits what they have invested and what they have gained.”

October 27, 2022 briefing 

“As for the European Union and its member states, their actions and statements, if anything, are prolonging the armed confrontation. These countries are supplying weapons to the Kiev regime, reinforcing its sense of permissiveness and impunity, and harming the interests of their own citizens and jeopardising domestic security. These weapons are already getting back to them through the black market.”

October 20, 2022 briefing 

 “It can be said with certainty that a large part of these weapons have already ended up or will soon end up on the black market, as monthly arms smuggling exceeds $1 billion. NATO military goods dispatched to the Kiev regime end up in the hands of terrorists, extremist and criminal groups in the Middle East, Central Africa and Southeast Asia. We have been pointing this out from the start. <…> It is an open secret that some of these weapons have been popping up on the black market, including in Europe.”

July 21, 2022 briefing 

“…All this is taking place against the backdrop of reports by the Ukrainian and Western press on the subsequent smuggling of arms sent to Ukraine via darknet and other channels. These weapons are saturating the black markets that are actively used by extremist and terrorist groups all over the world. NATO and the EU are well aware of this situation. This is evident from their attempts to create some oversight mechanisms and compel Kiev to report on the targeted use of the supplied weapons. This is ridiculous. In the past few decades, they have failed to establish control over corruption in Ukraine. Washington and Brussels issued countless reports on this problem. Importantly, this is Western money. They pumped it into Ukraine and then told Kiev about their inability to defeat corruption. Do the Westerners believe that now they will be able to control the supply of arms and ammunition or expenses on personnel training for Ukraine’s armed forces? No. For many years, they have not controlled anything on Ukrainian territory. All they could do was to put their own people into the needed positions. Everyone saw how the political, economic, financial and lawmaking processes took place. Now the situation will repeat itself. The West will demand that Kiev fulfil its commitments but in reality arms and military hardware will be moving to the West via black markets. What will happen next? Watch a couple of action-thrillers and you will find out.”

June 29, 2022 briefing 

“The United States and its allies continue flooding Ukraine with weapons. According to Western analysts, the amount of military, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine they pledged since January 24 totals over $80 billion, of which 45 percent goes towards purely military support. Arms supplies pose a security threat not only in Ukraine, but beyond its borders as well.

Soon enough, thousands of Stinger MANPADS, Javelin ATGMs, grenade launchers and other military equipment may and will find their way to global black markets.

 Law enforcement agencies in several Western and Eastern European countries have already noted a significant increase in criminal trafficking in weapons coming from the Kiev-controlled territories. Don’t say you weren’t warned. We warn you every day. Every weapon that is supplied to Ukraine will make it back primarily to Europe through the black market.”

June 15, 2022 briefing 

“…As you understand, weapons shipments to Kiev tend to prolong the fighting, leading to new casualties among civilians and helping the black market of weapons develop and expand, so that weapons will increasingly circulate across Europe and in other regions of the world.”


June 8, 2022 briefing 

“… According to media reports, transnational criminal groups have already worked out schemes for shipping these weapons out of Ukraine, including heavy artillery. Some of these weapons have already found their way into Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo. <…>

Those supplying these weapons to Kiev today are putting the safety of their own people at risk because these weapons end up in the hands of criminals and terrorists.

In doing so, they seem to forget that arms supplies to Ukraine create a black market for these weapons, including in Western Europe. The governments in the donor countries have so far refrained from breaking their silence on this subject, while independent experts and specialised agencies like Interpol have already started sounding the alarm. They understand what this will lead to. According to media reports, transnational criminal groups have already worked out schemes for shipping these weapons out of Ukraine, including heavy artillery. Some of these weapons have already found their way into Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo. Let me remind you that the West, the United States and NATO in general have been showing how they really care about the future of the Balkans. We can imagine the kind of future the Balkans will have under NATO’s patronage with all these ‘arms upgrades’ from the black market. Those supplying these weapons to Kiev today are putting the safety of their own people at risk because these weapons end up in the hands of criminals and terrorists. This is not even a matter of legal accountability, but the fact that this will go down in history as the responsibility of the NATO-centric countries. There is no getting away from this. This evidence will surface during investigations of hit jobs, robberies and raiding attacks.”

May 25, 2022 briefing 

“… That said, the Westerners admit their inability to identify the end users of weapons and guarantee their exclusive use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There is a growing risk that these weapons may land in the black market and be acquired by criminal groups throughout the world.”

April 28, 2022 briefing 

“… However, neither the United States nor its NATO partners are in a position to track the final destination of their weapon supplies and guarantee their use by the armed forces of Ukraine and no one else.”

March 24, 2022 briefing

 “…Let our Western ‘partners’ not be surprised when the weapons they had made available to Kiev will later surface in the most unlikely places, as it has always been the case before.

By their actions, they created a terrorist threat for Europe and the entire world.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.