A Look at Illegal Weapons Seized in Ukraine and Associated Threats
As in many countries on every continent, a black market involving a large number of weapons has existed in Ukraine for years. However, since Russia’s February 2022 invasion and resulting war of attrition, the various weapons sent to Ukraine have fuelled significant growth in the black market. Accordingly, the range of illicit weapons and ammunition has also greatly expanded. It is not just Ukraine as weapons from Russian forces have been seized as well.
These can sometimes fall into the hands of organized crime groups and individuals carrying out other illegal activities. There is a serious risk of such weapons being obtained and used by terrorists and other nefarious actors inside Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere. This threat will likely worsen when the war ends, as there will be a massive surplus of arms from the Ukrainian and Russian militaries. Though a different context, after the US-led coalition left Afghanistan, for instance, large amounts of NATO weaponry were sold to numerous jihadist and militant groups across Asia.