As we reported for months, some western weapons have been making their way onto black markets. Some appear to head for Jihadist territory. We know this is true from our own Pentagon. A report via CBS News says that it has greatly improved.
Not according to Russia.
During a Wednesday meeting with heads of security and special services, for what it’s worth, Russian President Putin said the arms flowing into Ukraine are making it onto black markets.
According to RT, the Russian leader called on the participants of the meeting to bolster cooperation in anti-terrorism efforts and noted that there were “serious challenges” posed by the emerging black arms markets in Ukraine.
Putin claimed that “cross-border criminal groups” were smuggling weapons to other regions and that it wasn’t just small firearms. “There is a persistent risk of criminals getting hold of more powerful weapons, including portable air defense systems and precision weapons.”
The president’s statement comes after Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, warned last month that corrupt Ukrainian officials had established channels to deliver Western-supplied weapons onto the global black market.
THE CENSORED CBS REPORT
A recent CBS News report suggested that only around 30% of the weapons sent by the West make it to the front lines. The report adds to rumors of waste, corruption, and black market profiteering.
The report has since been revised. CBS censored its own report. We’re not sure what is behind that, but it was very pro-Ukraine. Still, it upset Ukraine.
When asked where the weapons were going, Rovera answered, “we don’t know,” adding that “there is really no information as to where they’re going at all.”
Rovera pointed out that blind Western arms shipments like these have in the past ended up in the hands of extremists, such as genocidal ISIS insurgents who had US weapons in Iraq.
Jonas Ohman is the founder and CEO of Blue-Yellow. This Lithuania-based organization has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with non-lethal military aid in Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in 2014. In April, he estimated that just “30-40%” of the supplies across the border reached their final destination. But he says the situation has significantly improved since then, and a much larger quantity now gets where it should go.
According to Acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense Sean O’Donnell, Ukrainian authorities are unable to pin down the exact location of the arms and other military equipment supplied by the United States as all of their accounting is done on paper.
According to the official, Ukraine keeps track of the weapons using “hand receipts.”
“It’s all paper,” the official admitted, adding that he doubts Kiev authorities “have much fidelity” in terms of where the arms end up. O’Donnell noted that a “lack of effective record-keeping” got in the way of Pentagon investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, NATO officials appeared to be “confident that the security was sufficient for the transfer of weapons,” O’Donnell said.
In July, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that foreign weapons supplied by the West to Ukraine ended up in illegal markets, not only in Europe.