Some of the Western weapons supplied to Ukraine will inevitably fall into illegal circulation, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said. According to him, as in the case of conflicts in the Balkans and Africa, organized crime will try to take advantage of the chaos and even get military samples. Earlier, in the expert community of the United States and Europe, warnings were repeatedly voiced that it was impossible to trace the fate of the weapons supplied to Kyiv. Analysts do not rule out a “huge increase” in arms trafficking in Europe against the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine. According to experts, this jeopardizes security in the region.
According to Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock, he has “no doubt” that the Ukrainian conflict will increase arms trafficking. He expressed this opinion in an interview with reporters in Paris.
“Both in the Balkan region and in the African theaters (of hostilities. — RT) we saw that organized crime is trying to take advantage of the chaos, the availability of weapons, even those used by the military, ”explained the Secretary General of Interpol.
In this regard, he called on the 195 countries that make up Interpol “to make intensive use of available databases that can help track the movement of weapons – for example, stolen abroad.”
“No country in our region is able to cope with this alone, since the criminals I am talking about operate on a global scale,” Stock said.
Recall that since the beginning of the year, the United States and other Western countries have increased the supply of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, this process continued after the start of the special operation of the Russian Federation. In addition to military vehicles, the Kyiv regime receives large quantities of Stinger and Starstreak MANPADS, Javelin and NLAW ATGMs, light anti-tank guns and howitzers, kamikaze drones, as well as small arms, helmets and body armor.
At the same time, even in the Western expert community there are warnings that Ukraine’s unprecedented pumping of weapons could lead to unpredictable consequences.
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So, back in April, CNN, citing a source with access to US intelligence, reported that Washington does not control the distribution of weapons and their further fate after they end up in Ukraine.
“We have reliable information for a short time, but when it (the weapon. — RT) falls into the fog of conflict, we practically do not have it. It falls into a large black hole, and after a short period of time you have almost no idea where it is, ”said one of the channel’s interlocutors.
The task is not facilitated even by the presence of a serial number for weapons such as the Javelin anti-tank missile system.
“I can’t tell you where they (weapons. — RT) are in Ukraine and whether Ukrainians use them at the moment. They do not tell us about every projectile fired and who and when fired,” a senior Pentagon official told reporters.
In mid-May, The Washington Post published an article headlined “Massive Arms Flow to Ukraine Raises Arms Smuggling Concerns.”
The publication noted that “in the light of vague US assurances, there is concern about lost military equipment in Ukraine, a longtime hub for the illicit arms trade.”
The Washington Post: “Massive influx of weapons to Ukraine raises concerns about arms smuggling”
© The Washington Post
Rachel Stohl, an arms control expert and vice president of the Stimson Research Center, stressed that it is not possible to reliably trace all weapons entering Ukraine.
“Tracking not only where they all go and who uses them, but how they are used is simply impossible,” she was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.
This situation causes concern not only in the US, but also in Western Europe. European experts remind that Ukraine turned into an arms trade center in the 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Analysts of the Flemish Peace Research Institute, in an interview with the France 24 TV channel, drew parallels with armed conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and noted that weapons accumulated in the region during that period are still smuggled into many European countries.
In turn, an unnamed high-ranking French military officer, commenting on the saturation of Ukraine with Western weapons, stated: “We will not have fun when banks are robbed with Javelins.”
Russia has repeatedly warned about the possible adverse consequences of a large-scale pumping of Ukraine with weapons.
“The supply of arms, armaments, ammunition to the territory of Ukraine, from our point of view … will become an extremely dangerous and destabilizing factor, which in any case will in no way contribute to either stability in Ukraine or the restoration of order,” the press said at the end of February. Presidential Secretary Dmitry Peskov.
He added that in the long run the move could have “much more dangerous consequences.”
Foreign weapons in Ukraine
© Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu issued a similar warning at the end of March.
“We consider irresponsible the position of the West, which supplies lethal weapons to Ukraine. Its uncontrolled distribution to the population and mercenaries only exacerbates the situation and in the future can create a threat to the Europeans themselves, ”the head of the defense department emphasized.
In a conversation with RT, military expert Alexander Khrolenko called justified and obvious the fears of the Secretary General of Interpol about the increase in the flow of smuggled weapons coming from the territory of Ukraine.
“Stock’s assessment is based on the experience of other conflicts, in particular the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. At the same time, the situation in Ukraine is complicated due to its large territory, the scope of hostilities and the huge number of various motley military formations that are de jure included in the National Guard, and de facto have their own command structures. They have their own logistics lines and supplies, that is, they can receive and sell these weapons,” Khrolenko said.
He admits that weapons that are not being handed over to the armed formations that are not fully controlled by official Kyiv can end up anywhere.
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“The war will write everything off: after all, it is not clear how many weapons are actually used, how many are sold. So the situation is unpredictable. These weapons can get to criminals, drug dealers, extremist organizations,” Khrolenko believes.
The analyst also believes that the flow of weapons from the territory of Ukraine may be redistributed among refugees and illegal immigrants constantly arriving in Europe from Africa and the Middle East.
“This will lead to a completely new situation. The redistribution of spheres of influence, mafia wars will begin. There will be new associations of criminal groups and, accordingly, new conflicts. In the extreme case, Europe can turn into a zone of permanent hostilities like the Camorra. And all this, of course, thanks to the Lend-Lease of the United States, ”says Khrolenko.
Honorary President of the International Association of Veterans of the Alfa anti-terror unit, Sergei Goncharov, also believes that a significant amount of weapons now being supplied to the Kyiv regime will eventually end up under the control of criminal gangs.
“At the moment, no one controls the weapons that are in Ukraine. If Zelensky gave the order to distribute weapons to criminals, what can we even talk about? The weapons, in fact, are already in the hands of the criminals,” Goncharov stated.
He is confident that the virtually uncontrolled pumping of Ukraine with various weapons will inevitably lead to serious negative consequences.
“Illicit arms trafficking goes on all the time at certain levels, but because of the situation in Ukraine, there will be a huge increase. Terrorist and criminal activities will acquire a completely different scale. If Stinger and Javelin have already fallen into the hands of terrorists, then the threat is already emerging for the airspace and airports. Europe does not yet realize what it has already received. The smuggling of weapons from Ukraine will soon become the number one problem for everyone – these weapons will spread all over the world, ”the expert concluded.